What You See
Saturday, July 05, 2014
We absolutely create our reality through the filter of perception. Notice how our inner conversation (some of which is not even verbal, but merely an emotional tone or habit of attitude) influences experience. I had this driven home to me last night. Throughout my neighborhood, folks were setting off illegal backyard fireworks, shooting them up in the sky so that the entire area was showered in pyrotechnic displays. I'd just finished working out and went out on my balcony to take a look, when I was delighted by the colors, lights and sounds of merriment. Five minutes later, my phone rang. It was a neighbor calling to express upset at the same display. She had her reasons, and certainly the activity is against the law in my city. So who was "right?" Me -- the fireworks are beautiful? Or she -- the fireworks are a serious problem? As I spoke to her, I noticed my mental confusion and a little emotional shame. Was I bad/wrong for loving the fireworks?
As I'm working my way back to some physical measurements I feel comfortable inhabiting (not so much weight as body fat percentage and waist/hip circumferences), I'm going to remember that moment of confusion -- what's true about the fireworks is true about this weight management journey. If I look in the mirror or at the measuring tape and see a setback or a problem, I'm going to feel like a failure. My thought and emotions go to an all-or-nothing mentality that fosters all kinds of bad behaviors, leading to the spiral of helpless/hopeless quitting. And that really starts before I look at the measuring tape or the little window on the scale. It starts with my moment-to-moment attitude about why I am doing this in the first place.
What I bring to my weight-management journey will color how I feel along the way, and that will be true no matter what the scale or measuring tape reveal. The concrete results are nothing but a metric for comparison. My goal is to bring joy, acceptance and enthusiasm right now. That's the truest measure of health, however ineffable.