Being human, I am not always 100% comfortable with myself or my body. However, I heard about an analogy fairly recently that has really helped me take care of my body and see it in a light that isn’t simply to do with looks.
We are more than our bodies, our bodies are just what we drive in, like cars.
You would not put the wrong type of fuel in a car, or too little, because otherwise it simply would not work.
You would not key the outside of your own car, or leave litter all inside of it, letting rubbish build up without doing anything about it, otherwise it would be damaged and incredibly difficult to drive in.
If our cars needed to be fixed for any reason, we would not leave it because we know that if we do, they will eventually stop starting or break down whilst on the go.
If I were to drive along and be reckless and ignore other drivers etc., I would be much more prone to accidents that could really hurt others, so I would not just ignore everything around me because that’s not considerate to other people who are simply going about their days.
Just like how I acknowledge that my body is simply the vehicle I drive in, I acknowledge that regardless of what it looks like, what “paint” is on my skin, I am always me.
When we distance ourselves from identifying with our bodies alone, seeing them as more than what we are to others and nothing else, it is so easy to rid ourselves of judgement, and to no longer be so wrapped up on how others perceive our appearances – our bodies are simply what allow us to get to travel and explore the world around us.
This is not to say that no judgement will ever happen again, or we can’t be confident in our looks and make an effort to feel as comfortable as we can with them.
However, I do think it’s a lot easier to no longer put so much emphasis on how our bodies look and take more notice in their health and care for them if we no longer associate them with what makes us attractive to others – especially because not everyone has the same taste in cars, so at the end of the day, it’s really just about what we find easiest and most comfortable to drive in otherwise we’re making it so much harder to enjoy our journeys than we necessary.
I came across the concept of our bodies being like cars when researching Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) and the analogy of driving in a car with someone else being in the passenger seat was used a lot whilst explaining co-consciousness.
This was obviously more in the context of the disorder however thinking about our bodies as a car that we are driving can be helpful in many ways other than explaining co-consciousness.