You are beautiful…

I interrupt my anger management review for a subject that is weighing heavy on my heart tonight.

body image

One time I sat in a relief society class where we were discussing modesty. Someone made a comment about our bodies being temples. One of the women in the class courageously raised her hand and shared the statement that she didn’t feel like her body was a temple it seemed more like a bouncy castle. We all kinda laughed and related to that statement. Then the conversation continued on with modesty. Something inside me wasn’t right. As I looked around the room no one was struggling with modesty, yet we were all discussing it at great lengths. But we were all guilty of not recognizing how beautiful our bodies really are; and yet we breezed through the comment and continued on.

Why do we relate more to a bouncy house than a temple. Why would the Lord use a temple to describe our earthly tabernacles?

First of all, have you ever seen a temple?  The grounds are always immaculately manicured. They are beautiful and ornate. Have you ever entered into a temple and thought, “Geesh, we really dropped the ball… the architects messed up… the decorators were off their game…” Whenever I enter the house of the Lord I am always impressed with the cleanliness… I find that so calming. I love the attention to detail and am impressed with the beautiful mouldings and design. Sure I may have my favourites, Cardston temple, Washington temple and Provo city center… but there is not one that I consider awful, ugly, imperfect.

So why then when I look at my own temple, my own body, created in the image of the Divine can I look with such a critical eye? Why can I quickly list all the flaws and imperfections? Do I now know my Architect? Am I unaware of the Designer? Do I not know in whose image I really am created? Can I view my other brothers and sisters and celebrate their temples too.

Today I was at the community pool, never an easy place for mortal comparing eyes. But maybe that is the problem. Am I viewing all others with the same critical eyes… putting expectations on their temple too? or am I kinder and more compassionate to others and save that special critic for just my own body? Whatever the answer, we need to view ourselves and others with more love. It’s so hard to not buy into the media image of young, beautiful, thin, sculpted bodies… and its super hard to not go the other way and begrudge those who do take the time, effort and discipline to look amazing.

I guess my point is summed up by these two beautiful ladies…

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May you see the beauty in others and yourself…

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You are beautiful…

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