What was going on?
I’m going to stop here for a minute because the reality for me at the time was of confusion and frustration. What I could understand was that the immediate emergency was that nasty thing I’m going to blanket with the term stress, which had infested itself as disease within me.
(Tomorrow’s post will be all about explaining what stress is and why we need to care more than we generally do.)
What was going on in my own life to bring me to that desperate place is actually irrelevant. There were all sorts of things I could compile a book about to explain the last 25 years of my adult life and what had contributed to this culmination of events. And you could probably write your own book about your own personal Struggle, if you are someone who feels like Stuff is still not quite clicking magic in your life despite your best efforts.
We all have stories as unique as our fingerprints and the breaths we take each day.
We Struggle when we fail to move through our Stuff with this perspective.
And as I have been coaching women for a number of years now, working with those who are seeking transformations – and helping them to face their variety of challenges in that – certain frustrations with what I was often presented with had taken root.
I wanted so desperately to help others find peace with their bodies and antidotes for the Struggle, but there was typically layers of Stuff that needed to be addressed in order for that to happen – some of it being physiological and some of it psychological. And what I found was that most people didn’t want to wait around for that process or open up their lives to that sort of intensity.
But here’s what I know: We are typically not a well-rounded, happy, physiologically-balanced bunch of Strugglers.
This is the problem.
If you are someone who has spent a portion of your lifetime on a seemingly endless quest for a better body through weight loss, and a more positive vision of your physical attributes – then it is likely that there is a very good reason for your Struggle.
Unfortunately, however, we don’t prefer to seek out reasons….we like to believe that we are simply Conquerors:
….suck it up
….stick to it
Now, I’m going to say something kind of radical here….
All of that is no good.
Especially for those whose long-term transformation has not proven to come easy, despite honest effort and hardcore dedication to the cause. What tends to remain at some point is emptiness and disillusion.
1. Real life, long-term transformation is a lifelong pursuit and practise. Trying to forever stay in Conqueror mode with little regard for your own fingerprint of well-being will lead to all sorts of stress-induced breakdown – in any area of life that you apply this to. Healthy and viable transformation is significant change that lives within you as effortless and natural – not a fight or disciplinary act. When we fight, we tend to fall down eventually. And I would argue that a chronic falling-down is not a way to live life.
2. We are ever-changing humans with ultra-intelligent physiology designed to work perfectly. Trying to push our limits is not a natural, positive process for most of us. And if you have already pursued the push through many cycles of life and the Struggle light is on, then that ultra-intelligent physiology is eventually going to push back as an indication that all is not well. At that point, the last thing that you want to do keep pushing harder as a means to “getting better”. It simply doesn’t work that way – our bodies were not designed to obey our personal commands and demands as if we just installed a new software program. No, our bodies are smarter than that – and they will automatically shut down any new program that does not work with our personal operating system.
3. We lose the power of who we are as valuable, unique individuals when we subscribe to a commercialized version of what “health” looks like and takes to achieve. Moving through our very real and legitimate Struggles is not a process that should be reduced to finding motivation from the latest fitspo meme or diet program. Those things simply do not serve true transformation. And in the bigger picture, there is still remains a huge gap in our society between the promotion of “health” and “weight loss” and the actual real-life results we are experiencing. And even for those that are not on the extremes of that gap, there is little expectation that we are good enough as is – so we find satisfaction in the wrong things.
These are concepts I was already teaching my Coaching clients before I started to crash.
This is important because I knew that the answer to moving past these issues was not about skipping over finding the reasons.
I knew the solution wasn’t to work harder to try and lose weight – I had to put my attention on restoring what had broken.
I knew that I didn’t need to find a magic diet plan or pill to make myself feel more in control – I had to keep nourishing my body and mind, despite the backlash of my bodyweight fluctuation.
However, I will say that the temptation to go after the quick fix was there. I could totally identify with all those women I had been frustrated with in my coaching practice – I was tempted to ignore the fact that what I needed was to let go and just BE a mess for a while so that I could allow the proper healing to take place so that I could be restored, not broken down further.
Yikes, that’s hard. Humbling yourself to your own mess and frailty and struggle is not an easy prospect. But it’s often necessary. And good.
And so I spent the next six months growing a passionate humility that comes with finding peace and healing……
~ C.S. Lewis