Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are you trying to “thanksgiving” your way to self love?

Thanksgiving- a glorious holiday of giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. Truly it is an extraordinary practice to have gratitude not just on thanksgiving but every day. There however is a side of gratitude when it comes to your body image that you may not have thought of.

After I lost significant weight following my weight loss surgery, I would get dressed look in the mirror, and cry about my back fat or the way my clothes fit. Each time I did this I felt stupid. How could I cry about my back fat? I used to be 420lbs for god sake!! How could I be so ungrateful! I went to the computer and printed out several pictures of me at my biggest, with the words “look how far you’ve come.” I hung that picture on my mirror, so that I could see it each time I got dressed. It was a reminder to be grateful, that even if I wasn’t perfect, I was better off. Gratitude should have made me happy, or at least I thought it should. But the fact is, it didn’t. I was horribly unhappy. No amount of gratitude would have changed that.

I hear women trying to “thanksgiving” their way to self love all the time. They say, “I know I should be happy with the body I have.” They are grateful for the weight they may have lost, for the health they may have gained, for being better off than their former selves and even others. But like me, they find despite all their gratitude they’re still unsatisfied…still unhappy…still searching for relief from self-hate, self criticism and the like.

Feeling grateful isn’t going to set you free. There may be a time and place for gratitude, but gratitude alone cannot lead you to make peace with your body. You cannot thank your way to self-love. Being thankful is about comparing this moment to another, to your life to someone else’s. Being grateful no matter how noble it might be isn’t being present to who you are right now in this very moment. If you were truly in this moment you would not have to look to your past self or those around you to validate your goodness, to validate you wholeness, to find contentment.

Would you believe, I don’t ever say to myself any more “look how far you come?” Other people tell me now all the time, now that the results of my radical hateloss have solidified in the outside world. I was happy at 320lbs (after gaining back 60lbs) a summer ago when the radical hateloss happened in my life. I didn’t have to lose a pound first. I was set free the moment that I finally realized who I was had nothing to do with my body,

I am so very grateful this Thanksgiving. I am grateful for the healthy and strong body that I have. But I am even more grateful for the peace & contentment I have with myself. I am ecstatically grateful that I now know that true health is about acceptance and love. That true health doesn’t come through struggle and sacrifice, rather through ease and joy.

I love all things Lisbeth....check out:

"There are more superficial forms of gratitude, and that is not what we are talking about. By that I mean, to be grateful that someone else is worse off than you are… sometimes that is a source of gratitude. People say “Oh I really should be grateful, because look at this person – they are worse off than I am, so I should be grateful.” That’s not the true gratitude, that’s the gratitude that is arrived at through thinking, where you compare yourself to others.P.S.

The deeper gratitude is not arrived at through some conceptual process, where you explain to yourself why you should be grateful. That’s a superficial form of gratitude, that’s not really what it is, that’s ultimately to do with ego.

More fundamental than the true form of gratitude is the deep sense of appreciation. It’s not to do with what you are telling yourself in your head, it’s something that you sense in the present moment, it’s an appreciation of the “is-ness” of this moment. "
-Ekhart Tolle

....and I am grateful that I can now do double unders (passing the rope overhead twice in one jump)!


Lois said...

I'm so glad I finally got the chance to read the blog... this was just what I needed to hear today. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

glad you checked it out :-) Thanks Lois!!