Thereís a church at the end of my street, and it always has some sort of message on the signboard out front. This weekís is Love Your Neighbor As You Love Yourself. Most religions have something similar, a tenet that recognizes that we are all connected and worthy of respect and kindness.
Iíve always had issues with this because Iíve always treated others with more respect and kindness than Iíve given myself. If I viewed my neighbor the way I viewed myself, things would DEFINITELY get ugly. But at one point, I decided to treat myself with at least the respect Iíd give a stranger. Itís a good thing no one could hear me think! Iíd ask myself things like: what would you say to so-and-so if she had this issue? You wouldnít tell her to just stop being so stupid, would you?í
The switch wasnít easy. Isnít easy. And now that itís the season for reflection, itís on my mind again.
I once told a wise person that I could no longer generate the self-hate I needed to lose the weight. I was too tired. The response; something like: Ďif you really loved yourself youíd lose the weight.í And that itís better to take this journey with self-love. So my focus for this season is not on using food deprivation as a focus. That would be silly. Itís on this internal journey to appreciate the gift of myself, and to be in touch with my human-ness, and accepting of myself at least as I accept others.
Havenít quite figured out the path for this one. One goal is to find a tai chi class to get a sense of inner balance. Another one is to become comfortable with feeling angry, sad, upset, with the stress in my life and not to sedate with food. And a third one might be taking my emotional temperature on a regular basis, asking Ďwhat do I feel right now, what do I want right now, what do I need right now to maintain my balance?í my goodness, this is shaping up to be a busy Lent!
I know Iím not alone in this lack of self-love. Itís a common theme among all the people with weight issues Iíve ever met, regardless of their actual size. You can put your hands down now; I know you had them up!