Saturday, December 3, 2011

Love Your Body

Love Your Body by Louise L. Hay is a small book of positive affirmations designed for you to say out loud to yourself every day; there is an affirmation for many different parts of the body, and there is a blank page for each as well, so you can write in your own thoughts and affirmations to go along with the ones Hay has come up with.

For a self-help book, I actually do not think Love Your Body is at all helpful.  I'm sure affirmations work for some people, but the ones Hay provides in this book are mostly all the same few things repeated for every single body part she goes through.  I thought this was supposed to be full of affirmations to help someone be better able to try and accept the parts of themselves they dislike, and to eventually develop a more positive self-image through the continued use of the affirmations.  But since there is very little in each affirmation that is even relevant to the body part being "focused" on, I fail to see how it should help.  Some of the affirmations aren't even for body parts - there is one for breath, and quite a few for various internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, and bladder.  Here's an example for you - the affirmation for the spleen:

"My only obsession is with the joy of life.  My true identity is one of peace and love and joy.  I choose the thoughts that create joy for me in every area of my life.  My spleen is healthy and happy and normal.  I am safe.  I choose to experience the sweetness of life.  I love and appreciate my beautiful spleen!"

My spleen is happy?  What does any of this have to do with the spleen and why I should love mine?  Most of the affirmations mentioned whatever body part/organ/body-related concept as being "perfect" and "normal," but what if yours are not?  What if you have a cancer, or you wear glasses?  Maybe that's why you're self-conscious about that area.  The affirmations in this book don't really address any issues like that.  I understand that there is some truth to the power of positive thinking, but I have a hard time taking this book seriously, even with respect to that.  I think if you reword some of these and take out the parts about the body, they might be more useful as just general positive affirmations.  But as a book designed to help people develop a more positive body-image, I think it falls flat.

I was also disappointed when one of the affirmations threw in that "God has given me the ability to be flexible..."  I'm not Christian, so I am not interested in Christianity-focused self-help books.  I went out of my way trying to find ones that did not have a blatant religious affiliation, which was surprisingly more difficult than I expected.  General spirituality I'm okay with, but when you start talking about God, I feel like it would have been nice for that to be advertised so I could have been aware of some religious affiliation before buying the book.  It was only mentioned the one time, though, so in this case I think it was more that it caught me off guard, because it seemed so out of place from the rest of the affirmations. On the back, it has "spiritual growth" listed as a category next to "self-help" but I bought this online, and it was only listed as self-help and self-esteem.

If you are a person who affirmations work for, or you would like to give something like this a try, I would suggest looking at the book in an actual bookstore before buying it, rather than getting it online like I did.  The affirmations in this book all felt so corny and disingenuous to me, and each one was almost exactly the same.  She could have written just one affirmation, and rather than specifying the body part, you'd just fill in the blank with whatever.  Maybe other people don't think of these ones the same way I do, but if I had read through some of them first, I wouldn't have bothered purchasing this book since it was really not for me.



Hay House

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