For those of you that read my content regularly, have you noticed that I don’t talk about food? That I am not telling you what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, or sharing recipes? I want to make sure that you know that talking about food is not my intention. I believe that our culture gives food the microphone too much as it is, so I am going to ask food to step down from lime light. We all know that we need food to live, and we eat multiple times a day so that our bodies and minds can not just function, but flourish. We are inundated with food via social media, advertising and the like. We live with this idea that if we change what we eat or how we eat will change our bodies and therefore change how we feel in our own skin. I do not believe this to be true.
Food is a gift. Food is nourishment. Food is necessary. Food is NOT the enemy. Food is not the problem. Food can be a distraction away from the core issue, a symptom that reminds us that we need to look deeper into who we are, not just as eaters but also as profoundly complex, intuitive and miraculous beings.
We have been conditioned to believe that if we start with this outside behavior we will change how we feel on the inside. If you look at the statistics, that rarely succeeds. Ninety nine, yes, nearly 100% of diets fails! Someone changes the way they eat, they loose weight and then almost always gain the weight back, often times more then what they lost. Why? Because food is never going to solve the deeper issue. That deeper issue is that we struggle to love and accept ourselves for who we are. The disconnect from health stems from the disconnect of self.
Sure it is easy to give food the power. When we give the power to something outside of us, it distracts us from something as complicated as looking inward. That is what we do. Our eyes see, we look out. Constantly comparing, judging, assessing, and labelling. We are trained to use this outside world to shape the beliefs we have about self, and generally the results we gather are that we are inadequate the way we are. We are not enough and unworthy of having that which we desire. Not only are we taught to assess our environment and conform accordingly, we are also taught that with willpower you get what you want. It's gritty, forceful and in my opinion, disgusting.
“It’s a dog eat dog world.” “Pedal to the metal.” “No pain, no gain.” We live in a world that is fast passed, overwhelming and down right stressful. We are always looking for ways to be better and do better all at the expense of something we all to often over look; self. Self being that inner spirit, intuition and authentic spark that lives in side each and everyone of us.
So why do we default to wanting to change or heal from the outside? I believe it comes down to two things: control and fear. We believe that if we control aspects of our lives then we will find what we yearn for: health, happiness, abundance and above all, love. If we control what food we eat and how much we exercise we will find the perfect body and then find acceptance with who we are as people. We have this idea that if we like how we look on the outside we will like who we are on the inside. It’s an illusion. It doesn’t work that way. It isn’t suppose to, and that is why it fails.
The other reason we fail to do the inner healing that we truly desire is fear. It’s freaking down right scary!! What?! You want me to look at who I am, my beliefs, how I talk to myself? You want me to notice that I really don’t like who I am? Where I fall short, how I feel insecure and inadequate? You want me to notice the voice in my head? You want me to feel the pain? You want me to love myself? But I hate myself? That also sounds absolutely horrific!! Therefore, instead of acknowledging that we are wounded and have this darkness, we ignore it. We push it down, keeping it neatly tucked away, not just from ourselves but from the world. Once again returning to control. Controlling how others see us, how we feel, and how we live.
Healing, true lasting healing, must be done from the inside. In the dark, murky, painful, ugly, hideous depths of our being. We have to be willing to look at who we are and how we see ourselves. It is only when we dive into the core of our being that we can start to care for ourselves. It is in those forgotten places that we find that we have a voice that wants to speak, a part of us that wants to be seen. All aspects of who we are need to be accepted, not denied. Denial has no room for healing. Only full acceptance of all aspects of who we are gives us room to heal. It is with love that we heal. Self-love. Inner Love.
We need to learn to love the inner child that was crushed in some way. The one that lost faith in the world, or trust in itself. We need to forgive ourselves and our past for all those things that helped us cope and caused us pain. We need to believe that we have always done the best that we can. We also need to understand that our best varies day to day, moment to moment.
It is an unlearning and a relearning. Unlearning behaviors that previously protected us, but now only keep us locked into a stagnant and painful life. Relearning how to be who we truly are. Setting aside cultural beliefs and expectations and tapping into your spirit to see what you truly desire. Doing things your way, not in spite of others but because you know it is the best way for you.
We are born these perfect innocent beings of life. We have wonder in our eyes, love in our heart and curiosity in our minds. We don't desire to be right, we just have a desire to be seen, to be heard and to feel safe. We yearn to know that we matter, that we are worthy, and that we are loved. Loved just how we are… for who we are.
So let’s start over. Let us, individually, start with self. Chances are those around you couldn’t give you what you need or needed…so what if you start to give those things to yourself? Perhaps:
Compassion, understanding, encouragement, patience, curiosity, connection, time, space, gentleness, forgiveness and love.
We no longer need to be tough on ourselves, for life is tough enough as it is. Healing is possible. Peace with food is possible. I also believe that loving our bodies is possible. We just need to shift our focus. Let's turn inward. Let us meet ourselves where we are at. Let us accept our quirks and imperfections. Let us love ourselves for all that we really are. Since the old way of caring for ourselves hasn't gotten us to where we yearn to be, lets try something different. Instead of trying to change who we are on the outside, let's love ourselves for who we are on the inside.