Friday, April 20, 2012

Heart & Soul

Heart & soul are the final two secret ingredients I feel I'm smart enough now to give a place in my toolbox.

Heart takes the form of forgiveness, most especially of myself. How many times did I harpoon myself with self-loathing and anger whenever I failed to follow through on being perfect? Many times a day perhaps. No one was harder on me or more cruel to me than myself.

I was completely without compassion for my human failings and imperfections. And any change I wanted to thrust into my routine had to be all or nothing if I wanted it "to work." At least that is what I told myself.

This was all based on the assumption that so many others who had the body I wanted to have must be perfect every day, so why couldn't I? Isn't that silly?

Now that I have finally spent some time around truly healthy people, and read books by fitness icons like Chalene Johnson and Harley Pasternak, and studied magazine interviews of women who have created gorgeous bodies and endless vitality I KNOW that perfection is not a requirement to achieve perfect health. Well duh!

What the heart tells us (and many healthy peeps, too) is that we have to start with a lot of love for ourselves...right now. Just as we are. We need to study our ravaged bodies in the mirror not with disgust, bitterness, guilt and regret...but with compassion. And with hope that we will make things better. And we need to forgive ourselves for putting our bodies into their current condition, and be patient with ourselves as we go about making things right.

I didn't pack on 75 extra pounds over night. So I can't make it all go away overnight either. And I cannot change where I have been, only where I am going. Again, I know most of these thoughts are unoriginal or cliche, but maybe it is because we hear them so often that we tune out the truth in these oh so familiar words.

So I allow my heart to love me right now, because I believe I will only get better and better. Patience flows from here now, too. The heart says, "Hey, what's the rush?" Be good to yourself and forgive forgive forgive. And forget all about that fat person I thought I was. Perfect health is my natural state and my divine birthright. My body wants to get healthy even more than I do, and it will if I will just stop doing the fat habits.

But--ah!--the Soul. What has She to teach me?

Call on others, you are not alone...is one of the Soul's most urgent requests.

The old me, that raving mad perfectionist control freak, absolutely HATED asking for help of any kind for any reason. It felt like weakness, failure, and a mute recognition of inadequacy to seek help from others. I had so distanced myself from my own Creator, I had almost begun to believe I operated independently of Them. Or that I could change anything all by myself.

This is the most telling sign of ignorance.

My soul's rekindling started with a simple private plea for help. I directed it to the room around me in general, but God chose to answer anyway.

Shortly after, I found my dear spiritual teacher, Barbara Y. Martin (author of Change Your Aura, Change Your Life...among others), and like they say--when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I could write whole volumes concerning what I have learned from her in the last 2 years through her books, classes and lectures, but the key thing here is the importance of our connections to others.

What she taught me that I just plain didn't get before is that it is through the people around us that God performs his miracles in our lives to lift us up and lead us forward. Everyone is a potential channel of Her love, health, wisdom, peace & prosperity. And we ourselves are likewise channels for others, though many of us hold back.

So this also means when we choose to cut ourselves off from the help others may offer, what we are doing is cutting ourselves off from God and all the help He is trying to give us. If other people are the channels, and we aren't tuning in to others, how can any blessings come into our lives?

Just think of your job. Is your company or your boss the source of your income? No. God is the source of all our income, but He uses your job as the channel for His prosperity to come to you because that is one channel you gave him to work through when you went out there and applied for the job.

I get it now.

And I have opened myself up again to others. Teammates, classmates, friends, family, sometimes even perfect strangers. I seek their advice and ask for their help. And it is such a blessing to see how much people have to give and all that I have gained just for the asking.

There you have it. These were my lessons and these are my great new tools. Sappy perhaps, and definitely nothing most of us haven't at least heard before, and many more like myself probably thought they already knew it all anyway.

But as Bill quotes Socrates in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Wisdom is knowing that you know nothing."

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