I have been fortunate to have had opportunities to visit the Hawaiian islands on several occasions for work, school, and surf trips. I write this post from the island of Oahu with a rainbow stretching across the sky and sand nudged between my toes. Each time I come here I fall more and more in love with Hawaii and the Aloha Spirit it embodies.
The Aloha spirit
The literal meaning of aloha in Hawaiian is “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “ha,” meaning breath. The word aloha translated from Hawaiian to English has the literal meanings of hello, goodbye, and love. I always found that so beautiful that the same word you use to greet or say farewell to someone also means love. Although the word aloha takes on multiple meanings its true essence goes beyond any definition you can find in a dictionary.
A way of living
To the Hawaiians, aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own being first and afterwards to spread the love to others. Aloha is sending and receiving a positive energy. Aloha is living in harmony where each person is important to every other person for the good of all humanity. When you live the Spirit of Aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which never fade. They exist in you and spread over to others through your love and affection.
The Aloha Spirit is something that I believe each and everyone of us need when going through recovery from an eating disorder. When living with an eating disorder self-criticism, judgement, and shame shadow the love and compassion we have for ourselves. But when you approach recovery with aloha you welcome love and compassion into your life and start the process of healing. The dark gloomy shadow that was once cast upon your existence moves away and reveals a colorful rainbow full of love and well-being.