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regarding shame- in response to another blog

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I wrote a long response and realized most of the message needed to be directed to myself, not so much these days in terms of weight, but of other "transgression." But I'll keep it as is for the purposes of Spark.

May I gently say that your biggest problem is not your weight or your eating but your shame and lack of self-forgiveness about it. I don't believe you deserve this burden. But in our culture there is such a burden of perfection placed on people and the expectation that they should be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve celebrity looks that it's easy for people to be ashamed. We must want to look good enough to receive the approval and admiration of strangers! emoticon

In reality it is not other people's jobs to love and approve of us. It's ours. I'm paraphrasing a wonderful life teacher named Byron Katie. (Katie also says that everyone she meets loves her. The new person just doesn't know it yet.) The good news is we are totally capable of loving ourselves. In fact, we are made to do it! This is not to say that we don't deserve the love, support, and approval of others; it's just that we don't NEED them. Life gives us oodles of opportunities to get thrown back to the truth that we can love and approve of ourselves, WARTS AND ALL, no matter what others say or do, or even what we say or do. That is the essence of true self-esteem. No matter what. Esteem your essence, your center, which can never be affected by what we do, good or bad.
Even God cannot change the past. You have to start from where you are, and I invite you to consider that where you are is actually the perfect place for you at this moment in time, even if you don't see why. Strive each day to get some minimum of moderate exercise in. Eat good quality meals, while including foods you really enjoy. Take the time to sit and savor those meals. You deserve to take pleasure in your meals! Taking pleasure doesn't mean eating a lot more just because something tastes good. No one eating moderate meals of delicious food is ever deprived of anything she can actually get from food. If she feels deprived, it is usually something else, and more or different food won't make the difference. Savor your meal and then be done with it. Move on to other concerns, even if they are not necessarily easy. emoticon

And at the end of the day, accept that whatever you did is enough for today. A daily dose of this kind of self-approval is healthy.

I have found that most of the problems in life are on-going and that honestly, I find many of the activities of daily life taxing. I spent a lot of years overeating because I kept thinking that I should be able to solve my problems in any one moment and life should feel if not more joyful, at least easier. When I couldn't make that happen, I thought I would just overeat instead. I felt entitled! Now I know that just tolerating the discomfort of my dissatisfaction, and forgiving myself for my own participation in the problems, though not fun, is vastly superior to overeating. Sometimes it will free up the energy to take positive steps, sometimes not. But I can be in that moment in pain but without self-pity or resentment. Not every time, but enough.

I"m still working on my problems. They haven't gone away. I often can't find anything more soothing to do but feel my weariness. But I rarely eat over them now. I know I ate a good meal awhile ago or I will again later. A cup of mocha or tea is enough in between on weekdays. An extra fist-sized volume of something sweet or special once or twice a day is enough on weekends, birthdays, and holidays. This may sound impossible. For 38 years up until 32 months ago, I thought it was, too. But it isn't and you don't have to suffer with teeny amounts of food at your meals to get there. Although as time goes on, it's likely less food will be enough. However, don't be in a hurry for that.

Sometimes, when we aren't getting what we think we want, it is the perfect time to see that we do have in the moment what we NEED, which is the perception of our inner essence. It never changes and it is always available. And it's really always enough, even if it doesn't look like it from the outside. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    "just tolerating the discomfort of my dissatisfaction".... Those words REALLY struck a chord with me! That directly relates to how I feel right before I binge-eat. I feel so overwhelmed with anxiety, that I binge to relieve the pressure. I've never learned to just sit with that discomfort, I want to numb it with food as quickly as possible.

    Thank you for sharing.
    2012 days ago
    Knowing one's self is the first step to loving one's self.
    2013 days ago
    Thank you so much for your precious blog. I find it true and extremely helpful.
    2013 days ago
    loved this blog
    2013 days ago
    Thanks for posting this. I always come away with something that I can apply in my own life after reading your blog or team posts. I especially appreciate the part about not seeking approval from others. I'm working HARD on that one.
    We are all works in progress :)
    2013 days ago
    Another excellent post. Thank you so much for sharing.
    2013 days ago
  • CAMAEL100
    Lovely blog. Working hard at the moment to be kind to myself! Not finding it easy. And feeling that others are judging me when I know in my heart that they have better things to be doing and more to worry them. I think I want everyone to think I am perfect with the perfect children and now that I write it I see how stupid that is!!

    You are so right to say that life's issues are ongoing. I think I have been thinking it is ok to binge because of this problem because when it goes away I won't feel the need to binge again. But of course there is always some issue and I need to convince myself that food is not the answer to any of it!!! As INDYGIRL says - if hunger is not the problem, then food is not the solution!!
    2013 days ago
    Thank you so much for posting this!! What you write and the wisdom that you offer really resonates with me! emoticon
    2013 days ago
    Well said. I have nothing to add, and everything to reflect upon. Thank you.
    2014 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    Oolala this is an emoticon blog.

    I know I too am harder on myself and need to give myself some praise too.

    Keep smiling, you are fantastic at all you do here on Spark (and in life I'm sure)
    emoticon Donna x
    2014 days ago
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