But what does it really mean? Here`s my take on it.
I believe we`re on this planet to stretch ourselves and grow as much as we can. Every single one of us has our own unique pain and struggles – we all have our `own shit to sort out`. It`s part of the human experience.
Every one of those struggles is a potential gift. An opening to addressing and healing a part of ourselves. That`s what keeps us learning and developing as a human being.
If life was constantly cruisy and comfortable there would be no need for us to dig deep and make new discoveries.
To take this a step further, what if I suggested to you that our struggles with food and weight are potentially gifts as well?
That the pain and frustration actually has a purpose.
I know, it sounds ridiculous initially. It doesn`t seem right to see pain as a gift.
Let me share with you why I see the pain and frustrations with my weight as having a purpose.
I have a long history of dieting, bingeing and being exceptionally hard on myself.
That journey has ultimately led me to finding and liking the `real` me. But first I had to find her.
I started with the decision to stop dieting and trying to fix myself. Fighting and battling was destructive, eating away at my soul and I was sick of it.
Fighting and battling with food is the same as fighting and battling with myself.
I started to realise that I had been defining myself by my appearance, my weight, my clothes or by what I do. I looked outside of myself for my value.
I was being stretched to like and accept myself with all my imperfections, just as I was, without any conditions.
Previously though, I saw my lack of worthiness and of not being good enough, was because of my weight – but it actually had nothing to do with it.
How I approached food was a symptom, a sign of imbalance in my life.
For example bingeing and emotional eating was my way of seeking comfort when feeling stressed, lonely, upset or bored. I avoided feeling these emotions because they scared me.
I`ve learnt to accept emotions and not to run away from them.
Because I allow myself to fully feel my emotions, it has a ripple effect. I`m more present in my life and not `zoning out` on food.
I`ve learnt to slow down. To be a human being rather than a human doing. I`ve learnt that my constant busyness and putting others first was simply my way of feeling better about myself .
I know that I don`t have to do anything to feel worthy. I`m simply enough the way I am.
So what helped me see these as gifts?
A change in thinking. A change in perspective from the victim mode of `Why am I so flawed. Why me`?
I started asking `what do I need to learn`? What is the gift from this struggle?
Life happens for you, not too you
See how it opens you up to life… to learning more and moving forwards?
`Why me` makes you turn on yourself, retreat and close down.
So if you find yourself in a moment of despair or frustration over your body or what you`ve just eaten, try gently asking yourself
`What do I need to learn`?
(hint: it`s not about self control or willpower!)
The lesson may be that something is out of balance in your life at the moment.
Maybe you`re craving love and intimacy? (Connection)
Maybe there`s little sweetness and joy in your life? (Pleasure)
Maybe you wear yourself out by doing everything for everyone else first? (Worthiness)
Maybe you`re uncomfortable feeling certain emotions. (Peace)
Our food and weight struggles can actually be an avenue to healing and finding ourselves.
When we are open to this we discover more of our true selves – our beautiful authentic selves – and we step into our lives fully. We`re unashamed to be who we truly are and we make peace with ourselves.
Life happens for you, not too you
Learning to make peace with food has given me the gift of making peace with myself. And for that, I am immensely grateful.
I wish the same for you.