September 17, 2012
Loving myself like I’ve said before starts with my commitment to love my Creator and to make that Love the center of my life.
It takes determination, a solid commitment, vigilance, and faith that no matter what my mind tells me I am loving God to the best of my ability with the tools and knowledge that I have at my disposal at this time. WHEW…that was a mouth full!!! But also very true. Thoughts are powerful. As a man/woman thinks so is he/she in her heart.
As best I can I pay attention to my thoughts. I now know it’s not God telling me there’s ice cream in the freezer. But you can bet your life if I keep thinking about the ice cream in the freezer it will soon be in my stomach. Food being the drug of my choice is as damaging to my well being as alcohol is to an alcoholic. Everything I do starts with a thought. When I remember to pray before acting on a thought it’s amazing what happens but sometimes the temptation is so great that I find myself eating the ice cream before I even think about praying first. Today I love myself enough to keep ice cream out of my home. When I love myself in that way I am also loving God.
My body is the Temple of Love. My body is sacred and requires a lot of attention and care. Eating healthy, exercising and paying attention to my thoughts are ways that I love myself. I know that when I’m at odds with myself I am unable to love others.
We are called to love others as ourselves. Not more than ourselves but as ourselves. When we love and accept who we are, just the way we are, which is the way God loves us then we are able to love others in a healthy way.
There was a time when I knew more about the people around me because I thought I was loving them, but what I discovered is that I was avoiding and not loving myself. I spent time learning about others because I wanted to make them happy, I thought….but when I started really looking at my self and being honest with myself I discovered that everything I did was for my benefit. If the people around me were happy then I was happy. Here’s an essay I wrote a couple of years ago that tells this part of my story.
Healing My Life
April 14, 2009
Compulsive overeating and obsessive people pleasing were the demise of my life. Yes! My whole life. Food kept me from being in touch with my feelings and people pleasing kept me from knowing who I was, what my God given gifts were and what I wanted in life. I rarely gave any thought to what was important to me. I was concentrating on the people around me and looking for ways to make them happy. If they were happy so was I…..that is until I hit a bottom in my life, that looked to the world like a successful life.
I had acquired everything the world says you need to be happy. I had for the most part, a kind, loving, devoted husband who was an excellent provider. I could go anywhere, buy anything, do anything, be anything and “should” have been very happy but I was miserable.
The one thing I knew for sure was that there was a God that I loved and that God loved me. I had what I thought was a healthy spiritual life. Most of the time, I knew that I was being led and could see signs of that in my life. But somewhere along the way I was derailed. I’d become so obsessed with food and people that food and people became my god. I was brought to my knees because I was miserable.
My spiritual tool box was empty. In the past when I prayed I was restored to a peaceful place. Now nothing was working. Emotionally I was frightened, frustrated, angry and disappointed.
I hated my job. Thinking that was my problem I quit working, but nothing got better. In fact my relationships got worse. My emotions took over making my entire life a mess. I was not a fun person to be with. I was rude to sales people. My sister and I would get into screaming matches and I would end up hanging up on her. I was suffering physically as well. Headaches, backaches, stomach, gallbladder and sinus problems seemed to take turns plaguing me. No matter what I did I could not get relief.
Someone who loved me very much could see what was happening to me. This loving person told me that she used alcohol and drugs to deal with life and it seemed to her that I used food. She told me that she was attending AA meetings and that there was an organization for people who used food called Overeater’s Anonymous. She also asked me to go to Al-Anon. Alanon is for those of us who live with an alcoholic or have a loved one in our life that is addicted. I was ready to try anything and everything that could possibly restored me.
I went to my first OA Meeting on a Friday night in March of 1982. It was a small meeting with only about five people attending. It was held in a small, rather drab Sunday school room of a local church. As I looked around I was not impressed. That is until I spotted and read a poster with “The Twelve Steps of Alcohol Anonymous” printed large enough to read with ease. As I read each step I began to cry. These were tears of hope. I intuitively knew that I’d found a home. I also knew that those twelve steps would fill my tool box, repair my life and allow me to be healed.
Well that was the beginning of a new life for me. I’m ever so grateful to the loving person who by the grace of God had the courage to tell me the truth. I’d hit a true bottom and was ready to surrender my way of doing things. Today I surrender everyday and reaffirm my commitment to Love God with all my heart, my soul and my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. I’m even learning to love my enemies. Lots to write about….lots to think about.
Remember to love like your life depends on it…..because it does!!!
Remember to Feed you Soul…..it’s a good way to love yourself.
Blessings of Love for each of you,