Who told you that you were naked?
Despite exploring outside of my religious background, I oftentimes find myself coming back to the same teachings for just that: teachings. Whether or not you cling to these stories as truths is up to you, however, I learned quite a bit from this particular realization. My most recent meditation has been focused on Genesis 3. If you're not familiar with the Biblical explanation of Creation, I'll sum up: God created everything. It was beautiful. He created Man, then Woman, and it was very beautiful. They lived in a utopia called Eden, and He gave them strict instructions to not eat from a certain tree. The Woman was tempted by a serpent, ate from the tree. Eden was no longer a utopia.
Here we are in Genesis 3.
Now, when God created Eden, there was absolutely no shame, no guilt, no embarrassment, no judgement, nothing negative. In fact, Adam and Eve didn't know shame, so they didn't cover themselves in any way. After disobeying the only instruction they were given, Adam and Eve's minds became aware of shame, and in turn, nakedness. They began to hide and cover themselves. As God went to go look for them later, He found Eve hidden, covering herself. God knew this was not how he created her. He asked Eve directly "Who told you that you were naked?" (Genesis 3.11)
I had a deadlift session the other morning and saw all the usual suspects at the gym. I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, a normal outfit, but for some reason I felt particularly self conscious of my legs that morning. Miraculously, Genesis 3.11 came to mind. "Who told you that you aren't beautiful?" I thought of the magazines that showed celebrities and highlighted their "least flattering" side. I remember learning that it was "gross" from a young age. I was told that certain things were not beautiful.
God's reaction to the serpent's exposure was not good. God was very, very angry. He had created something so precious, so perfect, so beautiful only to be tainted. How His heart must have broken.
Realizing that anger is not the most constructive energy in an increasingly angry society, I tried on a brave form of apathy. I decided to look at myself in the mirror, acknowledge the parts that I had been bashing moments earlier, and make an effort to no longer care. I was taught that these parts of me were not beautiful, but I'm learning to not accept these teachings as truth.
Who told you that you aren't beautiful?
And more importantly: Do you accept that as truth?