When I look back at the beginning of my struggles with food and my body, I can see that I pulled away from life. I isolated myself. I came up with judgments about others and excuses for myself that cultivated my loneliness. I created an internal conflict that had never been there before- not for one minute. Food was not my struggle. And then, one Spring day, I decided to diet for the first time. At age fifteen, I spiraled down into dieting hell so quickly. My young mind had thought-systems in place that laid the foundation for the struggle. The combination of my personality tendencies and the inevitable backlash of dieting created the perfect storm.
I can see that my struggle served a purpose. I was protecting myself from failure, from rejection, from the new world of relationships, drugs and alcohol and changing identities that began to emerge all around me. Looking back, I can also see that the moment I pulled back from life, I stopped growing. I stopped taking chances and risks. I reduced my life to the aspects I knew I could control.
Living with such a powerful internal conflict is a very selfish existence. We are not fully here nor there. Although self-love is the way through this struggle, the concept can easily be misconstrued. Self-love includes first and foremost taking responsibility for ourselves and the choices we make. To heal, we must begin to look at everything we do and each way we respond to life as a choice. There is a chain of small choices that leads to the larger outcome.
Without a sense of personal responsibility, we are powerless to change.
Realizing that we can change our own minds rather than the people around us, our environment, and even our behaviors is empowering and essential to the healing process. And yet, once we learn to navigate our inner landscapes, we can see the external aspects of our lives with clarity. We can then choose to create an external environment that reflects the life we want to be living. Healing is a dynamic process where our internal worlds begin to generate our external circumstances. As the layers of our being become integrated with our soul-selves, we find ourselves choosing to surround ourselves with people and environments that resonate with our own energetic life-force.
We must want to change more than we want to remain ill and conflicted. I know this sounds strange, because one would assume a person in the depths of his/her struggles is desperate to change. However, the struggle serves a purpose. It keeps us small. It keeps us far away from risk and failure- from success and exposure.
Each time we choose to bring joy into our lives, to move with life and towards life, we transform the struggle into something beautiful.
Each time we open our minds and hearts, instead of closing them with fear, we are changing. We show up instead of retreat. We give and receive. We live and love. We surrender our struggles to guidance rooted in soul. We listen to our inner teachers and heal. Healing is the miracle.
We have the ability to choose and re-choose. Life is not a fixed experience, but rather an experiential process. We are both participants and observers. We make choices and we respond in the present moment. The answers to our questions are within us. We can quiet our minds and allow the voices of our inner teachers to gently spring forth. Opening our minds and our hearts, we allow love to soften fear. We will begin to observe many negative behaviors disappearing from our lives. Here, we take divine care of ourselves, each other, and this planet. We develop a sense of personal responsibility and we make way for miracles.