I used to hate myself. To cure this, I embraced perfectionism. I was constantly striving for flawlessness. Growing up with loving, but emotionally unavailable parents, I sought safety by avoiding anything that could lead to punishment, rejection or shame. I learned to suppress my emotions, be the “good girl,” and wait for acceptance and love.
As I entered puberty, my perfectionism extended to food and eating. A book called “The Low GI diet for kids” opened my eyes to labelling simple carbohydrates as “poisonous”, and sugar as the ultimate sin. I was shocked to learn this. Why hadn’t anyone told me this? From this moment, food stopped being just food. Food became morally good or bad. I promised myself that nothing from the “bad food” list would cross my lips. Eventually, it did however, leaving me feeling ashamed. I feared what would happen if anyone discovered my imperfections around eating. How would they punish me? Would I be rejected? I feared gaining weight, which only amplified my sense of brokenness and loneliness.
Over time, I developed a more compassionate relationship with myself. My approach to food became more nourishing and pleasurable. However, the perfectionist voice still lingered, especially when I was called by life to grow. When I started to explore Eating Psychology and the archetypes, I understood my perfectionist’s raison d’être. She was trying to protect me, while asking to be loved and accepted. Meanwhile, I tried to fix her by detesting her and avoiding her. I even actively tried NOT to be perfect (ironically, another form of perfectionism). This didn’t work. One day it hit me: the remedy is not hate, it’s love. I’m human, my imperfection is perfect. It’s not something to be fixed. As I started to embrace my perfectionist, her voice became less loud. As I loved her, she realised her job was no longer needed. I could finally relax into life and let go of the pursuit of being perfect. With this, other people’s opinions about me became less important. I didn’t need anyone else’s approval, my fountain of love and acceptance was within me.
In my exploration, I learned that self-love is about accepting and loving all aspects of ourselves, including the messy and flawed parts. Even if I don’t necessarily like everything about myself, I’ve learned to expand my capacity for self-love to include the unlikeable parts. By accepting my story and fully embracing who I am, I’ve opened myself up to love.
Preferences and judgments, likes and dislikes, come from the mind, but love emanates from the heart, without discrimination.
Do you have parts within you that are longing to be seen by the non-discriminatory heart? Can you extend acceptance and even love to those parts?
ABOUT MONIKA MOLANDER
Monika is a curious and compassionate Mind Body Eating Coach who is on a mission to help her clients heal their relationship with food and their bodies. With her curious and compassionate nature, she aims to guide clients towards a balanced and accepting approach to nourishment.
Monika’s non-judgmental and kind demeanor allows her clients to open up and foster a deeper connection with their mind, body, soul, and spirit.
She firmly believes that healing on an individual level contributes to healing the world as a whole. Join Monika on this transformative journey of self-discovery and witness the positive impact it can have on your life and well-being.