I have spent so much of my life hating my body, not feeling good enough and punishing myself with excessive exercise and negative mind talk. I have starved myself, binged, purged and abused myself. I have in recent years healed a great deal and had moments of liking me. I am sure there are many of you that have had similar experiences. I guess I am writing this to let you know that it is okay and you can get better. I have come a long way and released most of the emotional baggage I decided to carry with me for years (even though I did not intentionally do this!) You have to understand that most of our behaviours and belief systems are developed when we are young and innocent. A five year old does not understand that their father’s violent behaviour is not their fault, or that when parents ignore you and you do not feel important to them, that it is just that they are busy and stressed. Even abuse: be it physical, sexual or emotional is not our fault but we spend our entire lives feeling guilty, hurt, and angry and the lists go on. We punish ourselves for the behaviours of others and in so doing give others power over us.
I am here to say that you can change your belief systems and learned behaviours. When we feel pain or hurt in most cases we are experiencing past hurt and reliving it over and over again. Our brain does not know the difference between a memory and what is happening now. If we do not choose how to respond each time something happens we will continue to respond how we have in the past. The more you stop and say to yourself how am I going to react to this person or situation you create a new pathway in your brain. Eventually, there will be so many pathways that old habits and thought processes will not exist.
How do you do this? It is a simple process, not necessarily easy. We have no control over others or certain aspects of life however, we have control of our thoughts and how we respond. Every day you have to take control of you and your thoughts. Sounds easy enough right? Yes and no. If a thought (whether it has a real basis or not) creates an emotion, it will feel real to us. For example, a person wrongs you in a dream, you know it is not real but you still feel upset with that person. In real life it is harder to determine fact or fiction. For example, your partner seems distance and terse when asked a question in the morning, all day you beat yourself up over what you did to upset them, only to find out they were stressed about a work situation and it had nothing to do with you!!!!
Here is my guide to living peacefully:
- Take control over your thoughts and reactions. Ask yourself is what you are thinking has a real foundation or are you reacting from past issues? You are in control of your life, what you think you create!!!!!!
- Be kind to yourself. Would you speak to anyone the way you talk to yourself? If you do not love you, how can you love others fully! Every time you notice self criticism replace with a positive thought. The more you do this the natural it becomes. Remember you are unique and amazing!!!
- Let go of all that is holding you back. Forgive those who have hurt you, let them go. Remember to forgive yourself too!!!!
- Honour your emotions. If you feel sad or angry, allow yourself to feel it, accept the emotion, where is it coming from and give yourself permission to feel this way. Only then can you let it go. Pent up emotions cause pain and disease.
- Live each day with passion. This life is a blessing. We have a body that can feel and taste and think!! How awesome is that? Eat slowly enjoy your food, feel the sun on your skin and the breeze touch your face. Hug, laugh, dance and love deeply.