This is a follow-up to the previous blog about overcoming limiting beliefs is a process. There is no one-size-fits-all.
I expect some readers will say to themselves, “What does she know, she’s a life coach, lucky, successful.” Please bear with me…it ain’t been so easy, sista!
I’ve struggled with limiting beliefs as long as I can remember, beginning around age four. My older sisters ridiculed my chubby legs, at five I was told my neck was too short; at seven my eyes were too narrow, my waist too thick. At nine, mocked by my siblings who discovered I had prematurely started my period at a very early age. “Ginny’s got her period,” they chanted to their friends. Where do you hide at that age? My mother was suffering from mental illness and not a resource. Shame. Tears. Crawl. Under. Bed.
At age eight, I found solace in community service. I organized a neighborhood carnival and raised money for a Red Cross fund relief in our community. The article and photo in the local paper gave me confidence to continue helping. Throughout my pre-college years I volunteered for many causes. These experiences gave me confidence outside of my physical self. Yet, I continued to consider myself fat, unattractive and incompetent.
Fast forward to young adulthood. I was the only woman in my criminal justice undergraduate and graduate programs and invariably harassed and humiliated. Later, the only woman in my faculty department. I got the “gutter” assignments, teaching the most heavily populated classes and new preps every semester. On the home front, the only spousal attention I received was about my small waist. Anorexia was my antidote for control. 5’4”, 100 lbs.
My slow recovery began while reading the classic Fat Is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach. This coincided with viewing my bony knees in a department store mirror and exclaiming in fright. I was certain they belonged to some undernourished soul when I realized they were mine.
Recovery is all about learning to love yourself and self-compassion. Eventually, we learn to know that you can never fully love someone else unless you love yourself 100%. I had that epiphany when my children were grade-school age. Embracing them unequivocally helped me to love myself.
Oh sure, there are days that I can make self-deprecating comments. It’s a work in progress.
Would you hold on to your garbage till it rotted? I bet not! But we give our limiting beliefs the strength of diamonds and refuse to let go. I get it, repeat that you are fat or dumb and that becomes the scapegoat for not losing weight or not seeking a more fulfilling life.
Try this: look at your hands, look at your feet, look all around. See yourself in a mirror. Find one place that feels good. Tell that part you are grateful. Pull out your phone and take a picture, or, write it down. Describe what you like. Start the journey. Keep a “love myself” journal. Create your recovery.
Loving Kindness guru, Sharon Salzberg offers an impactful mantra: “May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be happy.” You’re encouraged to practice this mantra, or whatever works for you. Open your heart. Welcome your beautiful self!
Until next issue, with more recovery suggestions, check out my website, yourturnlifecoaching.com. Text/call 585.241.3020 or email me at ytcoach.com for a complimentary discovery session. I look forward to connecting!