I’m fixated on my body image. Is there any word of advice you can give?

Q. I know the body is an instrument that helps us with our function. But I’m fixated on my body image. Is there any word of advice you can give? 

A. Perhaps the main thing to be said is that our body-image doesn’t deliver anything real. Being an image, it can only get us other images—other empty things of the world. And after we get these empty images, we’re still empty. The result is that we’ve been living a shallow and unsatisfying existence. There’s also the demeaning effect of identifying with what is, in the end, just a hunk of meat. If that’s all we are, then how much worth and dignity can we really have?  

The Course suggests that we already understand all this. On some level, we realize that the body has failed to deliver on its promises, and we realize that identifying with it makes us seem worthless. And so, beneath any love we might feel for our body, there is a deep-seated resentment. And this resentment, says the Course, being a mental attack on the body, is actually the cause of the body’s sickness, aging, and death. 

One day, this body is going to stop functioning. And chances are that on that day, we’ll stand apart from it and look on it as simply “a garment now outworn” (S-3.II.1:11), as The Song of Prayer says. We could take a similar view now. That’s what Lesson 294 says: 

Let me not see it more than this today; of service for a while and fit to serve, to keep its usefulness while it can serve, and then to be replaced for greater good. (W-pII.294.1:10)

What we have to gain is a life of depth, a life of real meaning, a life lived from the awareness of our true worth.

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