For so many years, I’ve been a professional fanatic when it comes to self-help and personal growth. I think it’s done me some good – but I could surely recall a time when I was convinced I was broken. This was a reasonable diagnosis to make, especially given that I came across all sorts of practitioners and experts who were making a good living telling people they were indeed broken, and offering every manner of fascinating diets, pills, potions, prayers, past life therapy, and even a psychic reading given by an alien channeled from a far off galaxy.
Honestly, the alien was the most helpful of all, but the biggest personal shift in my life came when I discovered one day – and I’m not quite sure how – that I wasn’t broken. Yes, I still had my flaws and warts and an ugly car, but deep within, I was whole. The Buddhists were right. And since then, my life has been a lot sunnier.
So, allow me to translate this into some proper professional jargon: whether you’re working on self, working with clients, or looking to better support the people in your life, consider this as a prerequisite for deep and lasting healing of any kind –
Let go of the “FIX”
Fixing comes from very good intentions to help, to heal, and to serve. It seems so simple – if it’s broke, then fix the darned thing. And yet, I’ve noticed over the years that the assumption that a human is inherently broken and needs to fixed is the single quickest way to halt healing and lock in unwanted behaviors, or symptoms. Of course, you might be thinking, “What! Isn’t it our job to fix our clients, to improve ourselves, to provide solutions for those in need? Isn’t the whole point to fix our health and our emotional challenges?”
Well, yes – and no. In other words, I believe this is a very sexy paradox that’s worth exploring. For sure, I want my client to be better and happier. And yes, there’s a part of me that absolutely wants to fix my client. At the same time, no matter what concerns my client presents, there is absolutely nothing to “fix”. Meaning, we are not truly “broken.” Being broken implies a sense of being defeated, being un-whole, tainted, and having an essence that is unlovable and worthy of shame. One can have cancer and still be a whole human being who is dealing with cancer. One can have a drug addiction and still be a whole human who is journeying through such a powerful challenge.
I meet far too many people who are waiting to live their life, to be “the real me”, to finally show up in all their glory – once they are fixed. In the meantime, they search for diets or therapies or answers from the experts, and live a life that’s “not my real life – not yet – not until I’m fixed.” I hope you can see the nuances here. The antidote to fixing is to remember our wholeness, even in the face of our greatest challenges and ailments.
So yes, fix things when they truly have a solution.
But let’s remember that when it comes to healing, our symptoms and negative behaviors don’t want to be fixed, they want to be heard. They want to have space. They want to be honored and explored in their complexity, and in their divinity. From this space of radical acceptance, unconditional love, and genuine curiosity, magic happens.
So, the best way to fix any eating issues is simply this: Don’t fix it. In our professional trainings at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we explore these deeper dimensions of health and eating issues. Our students develop the much-needed skills to access their intuition, engage with their clients in a meaningful way, and walk confidently with others in their healing journey. So if you’re looking to deepen your professional skills with clients, or launch a new career, or take your relationship with food and body to a whole new level, you’re a great candidate for our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training.
I hope you can join me.
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