If you’ve ever been to London, you’ve probably taken the Tube, aka the subway. Most people who ride the Tube remember signs everywhere saying, “Mind the Gap”.
Years later, I’ve been fascinated with gaps, but mostly gaps in thinking, gaps in awareness, gaps in consciousness. What I’ve learned from my own life and observing others is that gaps can cause pain, especially a gap between who we truly are, today, this moment, and who we’ve been taught or conditioned we should be. The larger that gap, the more we feel that pain. One of the biggest issues I’ve had to grapple with concerning gaps is the gap between who I am, physically, and what advertising. retailers and diet culture tells me I should be.
It’s about time we “mind the gap” in other places than subways. We need to mind the gaps of our thinking, the gaps in our aspirations, the gaps in our awareness. If you don’t mind the gap in the subway, you may slip and fall and worst case scenario, slip just as a moving train is whizzing by. Life has many in opportune moments–sudden illness, unexpected death, catastrophic financial loss, just to name a few. There’s plenty of chaos to go around. If we are not minding our mental gaps, those unexpected trains may hit us too hard.
Body positivity is about acknowledging our gaps–acknowledging the pain they cause and most importantly, bridging or closing the gap. Exercise, eat right, train, but also realize we live in a culture that privileges dangerously thin representations of women’s bodies. Temper your expectations of yourself with a little compassion.