In January of 2012 I was working with a young girl with anorexia. During one of our sessions, she discussed the difference between being pretty and being beautiful. This led to a blog in which I posted a link to a YouTube video that was done by Dove regarding how a woman is transformed into an ideal of pretty and stuck on a billboard.
Recently I have come across another Dove video that continues to address the issue of how we see ourselves. In this video, a person is asked to describe themselves to a FBI sketch artist. He draws the person the way that they describe themselves. Next, a person with whom the original person only briefly met is brought in, and asked to describe that person, and another sketch is drawn. Later the two sketches are shown to the original volunteer.
What is striking about this is that people consistently described their flaws, while a complete stranger described the beauty that they saw instead. You can see the video here.
For those that are dealing with mental health issues whether it is anorexia, bulimia, another eating disorder, depression, or anxiety, seeing oneself for our flaws only strengthens the hold of the illness. It is only when we are able to see ourselves as others see us, for the beauty that we bring to the world, not the physical flaws that everyone has, that we are able to break free of the chains that hold us back.
I often talk about creating a story to who we are, and who we want to be. It is this image that we should see ourselves and not the reflection in the mirror. When we are able to understand how to embrace this idea we are able to heal. This is one way to start to treat depression, anxiety, anorexia, and bulimia. Whether you seek professional help or not, taking a few minutes to who you truly believe yourself to be can be a great step in the right direction.
Copyright, 2013, Benjamin Wolf. Blog entries and other materials available on Hope & Healing For Life’s website are intended to stimulate thoughts and conversations. If you or someone you know suffers from a mental illness, you are strongly encouraged to seek help from a mental health professional. For further information about this blog, or Hope & Healing For Life, contact Ben Wolf at 612-643-1920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.