Being Your Own Best Friend
- Category: Self-Help
Resisting eating disorder urges and cravings becomes a moral issue. You judge yourself good if you resist and bad if you succumb.
Yet you are all of what you feel and wish for. You can't destroy a part of yourself to allow another part to live freely. You need to find a way to befriend yourself.
Suppose you set aside the battle between black and white and looked for ways to be kind to yourself. How could each side of you befriend the other?
To start you off, here's a writing exercise.
1. Choose any situation where you are fighting within yourself about a choice:
For example, to binge or not
to call someone or not
to attend a function or not
2. Write out and answer these questions twice, once to each side of yourself.
a. what benefits do you get from getting your way?
b. what might getting your way cost you?
3. Breathe for ten breaths, watching your breath move through your body and pay attention to what you experience in your body in great detail.
4. Ask each side of yourself:
a. how can I help you?
b. what specific action can I take that will ease your situation?
5. Ask each side of yourself:
a. what's the first step I need to take to earn your trust?
b. what's the first step I can take to be your friend?
Read the answers you have given yourself. Breathe, watching your breath move through your body and read them again.
Let me know what you discover!
More readings on befriending yourself
Befriend and Be Kind to Your Self
Brefriending the self: mindfulness in clinical practice
Befriending the Shadow (different from above)
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Wow Joanna, this has to be one of your best blogs!
I read the links (the ones that work for me) and I did your writing exercise.
What I learned was that the part of me that doesn't want to eat, doesn't trust my body. There are good reasons it doesn't trust my body; it's been obese twice, it's attracted men who hurt me, and it's causes me physical pain.
By listening and looking at my life and recovery from “hurt Kym's” view, I feel like I can start acknowledging the fears and mistrust and I can start to build up some trust between my two sides (sick and healthy sides).
Today I spent my morning at a local Grotto where I walked the labyrinth talking to “hurt Kym” and sat under the tall trees crying for her hurts and trying to understand what she needs.
After coming home I ate my entire lunch and took an hour long bubble bath as a way to nurture both parts of me.
I'm not sure where this approach will take me, but I want to thank you for challenging me to look at myself from a different view.
This is such good news. You are answering your last question. The experience you describe as you connect and are kind to "hurt Kym" is what new development is all about. You have developed beyond your previous limit. Step by step you keep going - and that's how you continue your development.
I love hearing about a long bubble bath to nurture both parts of you simultaneously.