This newsletter contains some very sensitive material but I think it is important to share. I am by no ways trying to relate the two things I am about to discuss, but the first got me thinking about the second and I think it’s important to talk about.
On October 10th a beautiful 15-year-old girl named Amanda Todd ended her life because of the bullying she experienced – her story is truly tragic and something that broke my heart to read about. If you haven’t seen the video please watch this and share it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOHXGNx-E7E . Her message deserves to get out to the masses with hope that if she couldn’t be helped, someone else can.
Bullying is never okay and it is certainly never deserved. What I got to thinking about is how blatantly clear this is to us when it comes to other people bullying someone and how completely blind we are when it comes to how we bully ourselves. I work with a lot of people who treat themselves horrendously, and those with eating disorders are often some of the worst. When I ask about this, most of them struggle to see it, or even worse struggle to see the issue with it.
I recently read an article by Martha Beck where she spoke about acceptance. I have attached it here, and it’s worth a read, but one of the things she mentioned was how people attach themselves to their own abuse with the belief that it’s motivating… that somehow if they hate themselves enough it will keep them working harder. What they often fail to see is exactly how this doesn’t work. Hating yourself often leaves you frozen in moments that feel like hell. It doesn’t bring you closer to achieving what you want in life, and it definitely doesn’t make you closer to being happy. Your problems don’t go away because you hate yourself enough, just as your eating disorder doesn’t go away if you continue to listen to it and accept its torture.
Change, happiness, progress…these all begin with acceptance with where you are now. You won’t magically learn to accept yourself once you have reached a certain weight, financial bracket or whatever other goal you have. You have to accept yourself exactly as you are now, flaws and all, and learn to face the emotions that come up for you. Learn to process and accept what you are experiencing instead of working so hard to always resist it. As Beck put it “ Acceptance helps you feel free to make calm thoughtful choices, whereas rejection makes you freeze or run back to your worst habits for comfort.” The problem being that hating yourself (or having an eating disorder) never actually comforts you. It does the opposite. It causes you pain and makes you feel scared and out of control. To accept yourself is to soothe. Isn’t that what we all want out of life? To feel safe, happy and okay?
So I want you to ask yourself a few things and really answer them. Complete the questions as thoroughly as you can and don’t settle with “I don’t know” or a simple “yes or no”
What are you hoping you will accomplish by bullying yourself?
Is it actually working?
If you would like, email me your responses or post them in the comments section below. I will happily respond and help you move from a place of self-destruction to a place of soothing acceptance.