October 17, 2021

Food Shame, Body Shame, Money Shame

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Do you ever look at other people out there and think, “wow, they are so healthy, they eat so perfectly.”  Or think, “wow, they look so great, they obviously take such amazing care of themselves.”  Or think, “wow, they are so successful, they just really have it all together and are obviously doing it right.”
 
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Then, once you think those things, you begin guilting and shaming yourself for NOT eating perfectly, for NOT looking as great as they do, and for NOTbeing as successful or having-it-all-together as they seem to.
 
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And it hurts. You start comparing, and you start despairing.
 
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You’re not alone. We all do this sometimes. So today I thought I would share with you what I currently do with that kind of inner talk, in case it is of help to you too.
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When I see someone who seems to be doing better than me in any moment and start to feel that shame creep up, I say some version of the following to myself as a reminder:
 
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Okay, this is where I am now. And it’s not wrong or right, it’s just where I am right now. And that could change, or not. What is nourishing and healthy to this person could be different for me, and for different people, at different times. This person I am looking at is just a human on their own journey, in their own way, with their own beliefs and heart and soul history. And I don’t know all the “right” answers for me yet, but I am doing the best I can with what I have from where I am NOW, and I am allowed to NOT be perfect. I love myself anyway right where I am, even if I don’t feel it at the moment, and even if it doesn’t look like this seemingly perfect person.”
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That doesn’t make it all go away, but it helps remind me I am allowed to be loved right where and AS I am in THIS moment, and that I do not know that what I am doing right now is not serving me in some way I genuinely need, even if that same thing stops being needed in 2 or 5 or 10 years.
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Maybe the way I eat now, or the things I do in my life and business now will be different at some future time, I’m sure they will be, and maybe they might even look more like this persons actions or habits, but it’s not where I am in this moment, and I don’t deserve to be loved in 2 or 5 or 10 years, I deserve to be loved RIGHT NOW. Right where and as I am, and so do you. Whether we realize that in the moment or not.
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I have to remind myself that food shame and guilt, and money shame and guilt, and body shame and guilt NEVER WORK. And that’s all that is, it’s self-shaming. It’s telling yourself you are not enough to deserve goodness and peace now, but this other person IS.
 
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I remind myself that I’ve been down this road enough times to know that attempting to shame and guilt myself into change NEVER WORKS. I am repeating that point for emphasis, because I know so many of you still believe that it does.
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And the reason you believe it does is because it DOES work but only temporarily. It can and will make short term fixes. But those fixes always quickly fall apart, because it’s not love driving. So it’s not a solid foundation. It’s shame driving, and shame never drives us to any kind of good place.
 
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That’s why diets don’t work, that’s why you can make a boat load of cash pushing yourself to the brink, but then collapse. And that’s why no amount of money can make someone feel secure if fear and shame is what’s driving. Because the form of things is temporary, and thus conditional, and we KNOW that deep down, and live in fear of it. 
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But true love is not. True love is NOT conditional. And true love and real and deep ease within myself is what I’m truly aiming for, with all of the other things I try to do.
 
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So I just keep letting love drive, and trust that love will drive me to what I need in right timing, instead of forcing and pushing myself to “be better and be perfect” with food, or money, or body, or relationships, or anything else, before I can be loved and can be “good enough”.
 
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Plus here’s the thing: the healthiest and most beautiful and successful people in the world also die, and age, and fail, and lose money and things and people that are precious to them. They hurt, and go through struggles in the same ways that the rest of humans die, age, fail and lose things precious to them and struggle.
 
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We have all seen people who did everything “right” and were still ultimately vulnerable and impermanent on this earth and died at a far too early age. That doesn’t mean that things can’t and don’t get better, or that things can’t or don’t make a difference, on the contrary!!
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But what this remembrance DOES do, is it immediately burst the ego’s bubble of thinking that there is a time in the future when you will be more worthy of receiving love, compassion, happiness, goodness, peace, ease and joy. It will remind you, that that time is NOW, if for no other reason than because you don’t have any kind of idea what time you have.
 
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In this country we like to turn a blind eye to that fact, but I believe that to embrace it is to embrace our true aliveness, abundance and freedom, and that freedom always has to start now.
 
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So, my dears, wherever you are in your life right now. Whatever you’re eating, or whatever state or shape your body is in, whatever the current state of your money and outward success… love yourself where you are.
 
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Even if you are in fear that it’s not enough, and that you’re not enough, and that you won’t be okay, if that’s what you feel, then love THAT. Whatever it is that you are feeling, and being, and doing, see what happens when you just love that.
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Love yourself when you eat a donut, and love yourself when you eat Kale. Love yourself when you’re feeling beautiful, and love yourself when you feel like a scrub. Love yourself when you’re succeeding at something, and love yourself when you fail. Because what you’re doing when you do that is showing yourself that your value is NOT IN THOSE THINGS. You’re showing yourself that your value is immoveable, and not at all conditional on the forms and shapes your life takes.
 
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And don’t worry if you don’t know HOW to love yourself in those places, or to love yourself at all, that’s okay…  I don’t either, and you don’t have to know how. Just decide to. Just DECIDE to bring love instead of shame. Make that your intention, and see what happens.
 
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When you see the shame come up and doing its thing, say:
 
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Hi shame, I love you. I see what you’re trying to do. I see you’re trying to make sure I get loved—by other people. But I am going to love me now, okay? Even though I don’t exactly know how, that’s what I’m going to do. But thanks anyway.
 
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Put it on a note and hang it where you can see it. Do what you need to do to make the voice of love stronger than the one of shame and fear. Let it work its magic. It will bring you all the right breadcrumbs, right on time. You’ll see. Love is so much stronger and more intelligent than you can imagine. Just invite it into your life on purpose and you will see its power begin to unfold.
 
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