This piece was born out of necessity for showing a little bit of teeth. Move towards statements cause me to flourish and keep me in a collaboration mindset. If you’re reading this I have a sense you are on a similar path.
Are you a person who is good with statements containing, “ALWAYS or NEVER, MUST, SHOULD, or HAVE TO?” There are plenty of places where you’ll find that language.
Here we like empowering words of possibility, choice, and collaboration. Because we are powerful, wise, and complete as we are. Today.
Now for a glimpse of what was going on inside my grown up head when someone from my 17 year old past laid down the law.
It’s a little toothy.
Dear Mothering Loving People Who Tell Me To Never, EVER do ______.
You gave me some advice today. The phrase began with the word, “Don’t” or “Never” and it had a distinct smell of rules, which to me smells like moldy old water damaged books.
Absolute: adj. Not to be doubted or questioned.
“Absolutes and demands are all black and white, externally imposed, leaving no gray area for choice or the truly infinite possibilities.” 1.
I adore you darling and in your own unique quirky way, I know you have the best intentions for me. Thank you for that.
That said - knock it off and take that schlock someplace else.
Now and forever more.
Not needed. I know EXACTLY what I’m doing. Around food, around where I focus my time and attention, and basically life in general. So we’re clear, here’s the memo. Ready?
Well meaning phrases like, “Food is Fuel, not entertainment.” or, “Nothing else tastes as good as being thin feels.”….
Instead of encouraging me, or feeling loved and respected for the wise woman I am, I find words like that completely insulting.
PLUS – reading it made me want to go out and BINGE.
(and reevaluate whether or not you get to keep your spot in my inner circle)
Was that your intention? If so, then you’ve succeeded in your mission.
So, to drive a point home: That kind of rule spouting structure (usually beginning with “Don’t”) does NOT help me to eat less.
Here’s what it does instead –
It makes me go streaking through the sky like a comet in the direction of Micky Dee’s. It makes my brain say, “Fuck Off Authority Figure.” then go for the chips, ice cream, and any thing that’s edible including cardboard.
Rules smell like moldy old water damaged books to me.
So, if you’re going to talk food with me, Linda Eaves….
My rules of engagement are: (lovely paradox ain’t it?)
– I welcome conversation, but not advice. Don’t worry about me, I’ve got people looking out for me. The number 1 person being myself.
– Things are under control even when it doesn’t look like it through your lens of understanding.
– Share your personal experience with eating and how this conversation makes you feel. Now that, my friend – is what I want to pull up a chair and sit a spell to hear. So bring it on!
1. From Speaking in Absolutes and Demands by Geof Lory.