The ED recovery online community is filled with message like “love your body” and “love yourself.” Some things I have heard and read lately have changed my perception of these phrases so that they now have a whole new meaning.
You see, the problem is that we think of love as a feeling (a noun). We all know that love is a very powerful thing – possibly the most powerful force on the planet. It is capable of great things. People who are reactive (rather than proactive) make love a feeling. They empower that feeling and let it control their actions. See the problem here?
Proactive people on the other hand, are driven by their own inner values. They recognize their own free will to choose and their responsibility to produce actions that are in line with their core values.
Friends, love is a VERB. It is something you DO.
If you crave the feeling of love, then you need to take responsibility and DO love. I’m not here to tell you how it’s done – you were born with the innate intention to love and your heart has great capacity to do so. We must subordinate our feelings to our intentions, and we will be greatly rewarded – because love (the feeling) is the fruit of love (the action).
This applies to almost every aspect of life, but since this is an ED Recovery blog, let’s talk about loving ourselves. Weight gain is the inevitable consequence of recovery. We know we are doing what is best for our bodies… that we will be stronger and healthier as a result – living much more fulfilled lives. Yet we struggle with what we see in the mirror. How can we love that which society tells us is ugly or not good enough?
Well we just do it. Ignore the fact that we don’t feel love for the way our bodies look. Ignore the feeling and focus on the intention of self-acceptance. Find the positive qualities. Thank your body for all it can do. Thank it for the miracle of life that you are. Think of the air that moves in and out of your lungs. Appreciate the way your smile looks when you are genuinely happy. Go easy on yourself. Cherish your body’s wonderful ability to walk, swim, and give hugs. Notice how wonderful the spring breeze feels against your skin.
It’s okay if you don’t feel love yet. It’s not your fault. Society has not conditioned you to love your body as it is. But the secret is that you have the POWER to choose love. I challenge you all to go out there and DO love, and you will FEEL love in return.