Love thyself!

Love thyself!

I’m home from work today with a bad bad cold.  It’s been circulating for weeks and finally caught up with me.  Oh well.  I had some chicken soup for lunch and (not sure if it’s mind over matter), but I feel a little better already.  It will take me a few days, but I will be back on my feet.  I’ve spent alot of today napping on the couch under a soft, warm blanket, and watching some television.

I don’t get a chance to see daytime TV much because I’m usually at work, but today I watched a show called The Talk.  It’s a women-focused talk show with 5 women, chit chatting with guests, and sharing gossip.  Just what you need when you are home sick on the couch…nothing too deep, ya know?  Kelly Osborne was a guest on the show and they were talking about smoking and how hard that habit is to break.  I’m so grateful that smoking is one habit I have NEVER even considered starting.   My father died when I was 13  years old of a smoking related cancer.  Moments like that imprint on your life, and make a deep and abiding change in  “who you are”.    When I visualize Smoking, I see Death.  It’s that simple and straight forward in my mind and heart.  It’s similar for most of my siblings who were under the age of 17 when we lost our Dad.  Studies show that when you lose your Mother, you lose the emotional ties to “who you are”.  When you lose your Father, you lose your sense of security.   I was blessed to have a Mother as strong as my Mom.  She stepped in, and saved all of us back then.    My love for my Mom is deep and endless.  She saved me.  There is no way to be thankful enough for that!

Anyway….I didn’t mean to get all deep and meloncholy……, back to the The Talk.  Kelly’s point about smoking was about WHY it is so hard to stop smoking, even in the face of facts, Facts, and more FACTS about just how bad it is for your health and the health of those you love.  Hmmm….my antenna went up, because I’m tuned-in to learning about the WHYs these days!  Based on my post yesterday, you know that I’m struggling with my binge eating again.  I’m struggling with the WHY it happens.  Some of what Kelly said about smoking gave me an Ah-Ha moment today.  Let me share…..

Kelly said that she believes smoking is so hard to quit, even in the face of facts about why one should, because it has become a form of Self Love.  A method (albeit, a dysfunctional one) of providing Love to Oneself.  Left eyebrow up in confusion??  Well, here’s what else she said.  She said, The Mouth is the most intimate part of our body.  We kiss with our mouth, we express ourselves with our mouths, our voice, our passionate views.   The mouth is a vehicle for giving and receiving love.  Sara Gilbert is a host of the show, and she jumped in to add that the intimacy of the mouth goes all the way back to being fed as a baby.  I had to think about this for a moment.  Something really clicked with me when Sara said that.

I’m a mother, and I both breast-fed and bottle-fed both of my daughters.  During both of these types of feeding routines, I experienced some of the most intimate times of my life.   Because feeding your baby, whether by bottle or breast, isn’t only about providing food.  Sitting there in that rocking chair, in the warmth of the nursery, during the silent hours of the early morning…..there you are, as close as two people can be.  A mother, with her baby, swaddled and snuggled so close — she is still a part of you.  You whisper to her as she feeds.  You kiss her forehead as she feeds.  You count the little toes for the millionth time, as you sing a lullaby, as she feeds.  You give love, and security, and connection, and intimacy, and acceptance, and every other gift of bonding, softly — unconditionally — boundlessly — as she feeds.

So what happens when she grows up, and she struggles through the normal times that life lays out for her….when she must be alone with herself, to figure out the course of her own life?  What happens when she feels insecure, and lonely, and somewhat unsure?  Maybe, she reaches for food to return herself to that place where the world was as warm, and soft, and safe as it could be in the arms of her mother.  She feeds herself to give herself that Love.  And she feeds herself again.  And again.  And……

Gosh, this goes deep, and it goes back….way back to before the time I have memories.  And the good news is….it came from a good place.  It came from all my best intentions for myself.  It came because it was the only way I could figure out (at that time) how to Love Myself.

So, maybe I grasped at this thought today because I wanted to find an answer.  Or maybe there is some truth to the origins of my bingeing.  Who knows.  It doesn’t really matter.  I’m not searching for an answer to help myself feel more normal.  That was the ME from 2 years ago.  The ME of today has come to terms with that along the way.  I am so NORMAL that I’m BORING!  LOL   But I am searching for an answer because I want some help accepting that it’s OK that this is HARD.  And that it’s OK that this takes TIME.  And that it’s OK that even after all this time spent learning “how to eat”, that I can still stumble.  So, the answer I went looking for today, and the answer I found today helped me remember one critical step in this whole long process.  I need to remember that, I’m going to stumble.  And I’m going to fall.  The key is KNOWING that after I do…..that I’m going to get up from my fall,  and move forward again.  THIS is what is new about me.  The resilience.  Two years ago, the stumbles would have been the mile markers where I fell, and where I stayed down.    Now the stumbles are the mile markers for my resilience.   Let’s go to the dictionary:

Resilience:   the ability to recover readily from adversity; buoyancy.

So, if you are in a place right now where you don’t have a large quantity of resilience, then GET SOME.  BUILD IT.  Because we’re going to need it on this journey.  As I look back and think about where mine came from……..I keep coming back to two things:

1) One day I DECIDED that I didn’t really KNOW who I was.   I DECIDED to leave all the beliefs I HAD about myself (mostly negative) behind.  and

2) BECAUSE I don’t KNOW who I am……I really don’t have any limits!  I DECIDED to push myself in new ways, and to see what I was CAPABLE of.   I PUSHED myself out of my comfort zone, and in doing this — I was going to fall more, and get up more, and try again more, and this process, this new infancy of ME — became fun after a while.  And Boy did it make a difference in terms of the New Positive Self Talk I stared to hear in my head.  ALL of THIS made me more resilient, more able to recover when I failed.  Less apt to fall on the ground and stay there.

I think success comes to those who Try.  I’ve become a Life-Time Try-er.  And I Love Myself for it.  Hey, That’s NEW!  Cool!

Ciao for now……Diane

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