Of all the important tools and tricks and deeper understandings I have ever learned about psychology and the human experience, the all important nugget of wisdom that I never saw in any textbook was this:
We are profoundly sensitive and fragile.
And perhaps way more so than we’d like to imagine, or could ever publicly admit. As I’ve worked in the fields of weight loss, body image, and nutritional health over the last 3 decades, I’ve been humbled by how our early experiences of betrayal, hurt, emotional pains from childhood, sexual abuse, and the challenges of being alive on planet Earth can profoundly impact us. In particular, the pains and stresses of life can drive us into unwanted behaviors around food, a lingering hatred of the body, and all manner of physical symptoms that the health professions treat as a medical issue, but are indeed, soul issues.
For centuries, our greatest religious and philosophical thinkers have noted that we exist in a constant struggle between the forces of light and dark, consciousness and unconsciousness. Despite our very best intentions, we often war on our own body and being. If your friends spoke to you the way you silently speak to and criticize yourself, they wouldn’t be your friends. Self-love is a far greater struggle than most of us could have imagined.
Christmas time, Hanukah time, is the point during our year when the days are getting darker. Symbolically, we can tap into the darkness, the hidden, the territory within that we often fear and avoid. We have the opportunity to touch places inside us that we have kept protected, simply because of fear.
On Christmas day – the winter solstice, the daylight grows longer once again, the light literally overtakes the darkness.
And this is where the true gift giving takes place. Going into our depths is a gift. Sourcing our truest self, our creative power, the unexpressed words, truths, desires, and dreams is where the action is. Despite what the world often tells us, we came to planet Earth for a reason. We have a gift to offer, and at our deepest core, it’s a gift we must give in order to be whole and complete. Life is beckoning us step forward and shine.
So if you look in the mirror and judge your body, if you fight food, if you scatter your life force trying to create the perfect weight or the perfect diet or achieving perfect health, it’s time to give it up. Every moment spent in self-judgment or a quest for impossible perfection is a missed opportunity to gift the world with your light, your presence, and your love.
What kinds of thoughts about your body keep you stuck?
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2011