Holding the Olive Branch

It is simple math that determines our size; calories in verses calories out.  We all know that on an intellectual level but somehow emotionally we can begin to view our own body as a villain, an active agent, in the story we tell ourselves about our weight. We attribute evil powers to the body that it doesn’t have. Our hips and thighs are not out to get us; they aren’t taunting us with their size. Rather, our blessed bodies are doing the best they can to maintain vitality in spite of living in conditions that are often not all that conducive to health. In truth our body is incredibly loyal and resilient.

Most of us know that if we are going to have a healthy relationship with anyone we must be ready and willing to readily engage in forgiveness. However, do we apply this to ourselves? As we take the journey back to our body an absolutely necessary step is to enter in to a form of reconciliation with our body. We must be willing to release our body of all the pain we have wrongly attributed to it and also ask for forgiveness for all the pain we have caused it.  For so many years I subjected my body to repeated messages of rejection. I ignored its needs and I imposed harm through chaotic eating patterns.  When we shift from a diet mentality to a loving embrace of our body we learn we need to relate to the body in a completely different way. Through mindfulness and taking the deeper cravings journey we can cultivate deep appreciation for our body and a clear perspective on what it has endured for us over our years.

My own body has been blamed for so much perceived loss in my life. I have positioned it in my mind as a formidable yet inseparable opponent. The process of becoming present and learning to live within the body opened up a new way for me to see the role my body has played in my life. I no longer see it as the villain in my story. I see it now more like an estranged loved one that I had been unknowingly harming through my own separation from the deeper, wiser more loving part of me; my true self.

There is incredible freedom in being able to relate to our body as something needing and deserving our love and attention verses something we need to overcome. It is not the body itself, but our unhealthy relationship with our body that is the problem we need to overcome. We can come to realize that our body is actually only passively involved in its size. It is simply mechanically responding to our behaviors. It is not our bodies that are causing us to not have the life we want, rather it is the story we have been telling ourselves about our bodies. Once we release the story, really let go and heal the relationship with our body, we begin to actually WANT to protect it. It is this deep authentic wanting that shifts our behavior and leads to the shift in size but more importantly propels us from living in a body of shame to living in a body of joy.