Disclosure: This post is in response to Karen‘s giveaway of a week at Green Mountain at Fox Run. She asked us to write a bit about “the role of self-love in your journey to health and why you’d like to go to GMFR.”
I talk a lot about taking care of myself, and facing my demons, and even respecting and trusting my body. This is my Parent voice, my Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do voice. Karen talks about Lovingly Parenting Yourself as part of the practice of GMFR, and it is something I’ve struggled with in my life, both in terms of diet and in other areas.
As you know, I have a young daughter. Of course the most important thing in the world to me is helping her grow into a healthy, happy woman. That is more important to me, as a parent, than even my own health. You other parents out there, you understand. And I do my best to teach her, to guide her, not to do for her but to help her learn the ways of the world around her. I do my best to show her how to take care of herself so that she has the best possible chance of growing into that healthy, happy, beautiful, intelligent woman I see waiting to blossom.
But I get frustrated. There are times that I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that she is young, and learning is not always instantaneous. Life is a process, and it takes time. The most important thing is that I love her, and that I show her that I love her, and that I have compassion for her, especially in those instances when I want to tear my hear out. Life lessons come from a loving parents, someone trustworthy, someone who cares for her, not from anger and frustration.
Those principles apply to myself as well.
Yes, I am adult, and yes, I generally know what is and is not good for me, both physically and emotionally. Do I always follow logic and go with what I know is good? Of course not. Those are the moments I need to practice that same love and compassion I strive to show my daughter, but towards myself. In the same way that yelling at my daughter will not make her do what I want, I cannot force myself to change my unhealthy eating habits by telling myself what a miserable failure I am. It doesn’t work that way.
This journey I am on–both to become a continuously better parent, and to gain physical and emotional health–is a journey of love. Improvement comes only through love. Self-improvement comes only through self-love.
GMFR is a place of practice, a place where we can learn what it feels like to be fully accepted, by others and by ourselves. Acceptance is the first step on the road to love. I can talk the talk with the best of them, but GMFR is a place to practice walking the walk.