When I was in my late twenties, after years of trying different diets, I made a commitment to stop attacking myself over this thing called being overweight. My first act? Getting rid of the judge and jury I submitted to every day. Better known, as the bathroom scale. My second act was to begin the lifelong process of looking more deeply inside for why I was using food the way I was. Decades later I understand a lot more about where that initial impulse to change came from.
It wasn’t about measuring up to some external, or even internal, standard. It wasn’t about getting something, or becoming something that I wasn’t already.
It was about remembering. About turning towards, and putting back together, an inherent Truth that was already built into me. My ability to care for myself came with me at birth. It is hardwired in. It comes with me everywhere I go; remaining throughout my life as an essential aspect of my ability to not only survive, but to thrive.
Has it been derailed? Yes. Forgotten? Absolutely. Misled? For sure. Lost for good? Never.
We are mammals. We all instinctively know what works for us, and what doesn’t. As humans though, we have to contend with our own growing up where real human needs were not always honored, recognized, and met. Leaving us too often believing the wrong things about what we need, how to take care of ourselves, and where to look when we are hurting and confused. We also have to contend with the fact that we live in a culture that actively works against us taking better care of ourselves. Except of course where self-care is being increasingly monetized in the form of the big business that is growing up around our doubt and confusion around who we are and what we need. Selling us not only lots of stuff, but worst of all, the belief that we don’t know what we are doing.
One more place in our life where we aren’t doing it right. Aren’t doing enough. Need something outside of us to be the truth of who we are.
Where to begin then in the midst of this? We begin from within, and we begin with what is most simple. But in order to get to what is basic and built in, we must first bypass all of the erroneous conditioning and unsound advice around self-care. We can do that with a simple question. Not one that needs to be answered right away, but instead, one that is contemplated, considered, and referred to.
What needs to go in your life? What punitive and critical “scale” do you use with yourself that not only beats you up, but keeps you from being with yourself in a real and deep way?