In my last post I responded to a comment in a way that has really stayed with me.
I wrote, “The day I recognized that holding out a hand was much more powerful than pointing a finger, everything changed.”
It took me a long time to believe and accept this. I was absolutely certain that rules and goals were there to keep me motivated, in check and compliant. Perhaps they did do that. But they did not make me calm and happy, or satisfied with my results. Instead, they created a perfect storm of criticism and underachieving. All that accomplished was that I felt worse and worse about myself the more I did. As I got thinner and fitter I became so much less accepting of my body. I knew alcohol was part of this and I constantly swore to cut back. And failed time and time again. So I made more rules made them stricter. How crappy is that???!!!
Holding out a hand, for me, meant I started doing things because they made me feel good inside. Helpful things. Quitting drinking was obviously a big one. But I have a lot of food and exercise baggage that fell into this category too. I found a therapist. I threw the scale away. I started eating more. I let myself enjoy food. Especially cheesecake. I love cheesecake. I changed my inner critic into an inner cheerleader and I purposely recognized each and every small achievement. Over time it has become just how things are. I like, appreciate and love me.
When it come to others, I take this even further. I assume everyone knows how to criticize themselves. I am pretty sure anyone who is stuck in a cycle of addiction, whether it be alcohol, food, etc. has tried to implement many rules and regulations to get themselves “on track”. Every time we do this, and don’t succeed, it just reemphasizes the belief that we are not enough. Not good enough, committed enough or strong enough. That maybe we need a bigger stick. Punishment. Consequences. Fear.
Other people don’t need me to point out their failures. They need me to hold out my hand and show that someone thinks they are important enough to succeed. That others see them and understand. That they understand where they are and that there is a kinder, gentler way. Not an easy way, but a way that will leave you content and happy. That it is worth putting aside that fear and trying something different.
Trying and failing is not a sign that you are unworthy, broken or flawed. It is a sign that you are willing to change. And you will eventually succeed if you realize that you are worth the kindness.
Love is always the answer.
Stillness and Peace