What we think about ourselves is dangerous territory. And talking about what we think about ourselves with others is like sticking dynamite in your mouth and hoping it doesn't go off. I find when we begin to have a genuine conversation, an authentic dialogue about who we really believe ourselves to be, we discover that we're not so alone in our neuroses.
But it takes a certain kind of person to get to that place. Usually, if you try to talk about what you think about yourself, you will be bombarded with comments like, "How could you think that?" or "Don't be so negative." "Don't be so hard on yourself." "No, you're not ___________!" (Fill in the blank with whatever your current body/self-related obsession happens to be). And I find discussions like this to be stupid and somewhat pointless. When I tell you what I think about myself in my head, I don't need you to tell me that I'm wrong to think that. If I'm telling you about it, I probably already know it's way off course. And that's the thing about self-image. How can we ever be certain about what others think of us? And honestly, they're probably too busy going over their own list of flaws in their head to care too much about yours.
But VEDA? VEDAers, as I've taken to calling the participants, are not like this. They are listeners. They are willing to open up authentic dialogues. They are willing to hear the most horrible things you have to say about yourself and respond with sympathy, not trite platitudes about how you should love yourself. Because we all know we should love ourselves. Sometimes, what we really need to hear is, "Yeah. Me too."
I was really blown away by the response to my own VEDA video, and definitely moved by many others' honest and vulnerable videos. I thought I would share some of that here. I also want to send you over to read this post from Kerri, who is sadly not participating in VEDA, but has ended up writing a beautiful and inspiring post on body image at the same time!
These are the stories we're telling ourselves about who we are. These are the dialogues we're running in our heads. These are the words informing our esteem, determining our worth. They are not perfect, but they are honest. And they are real.