A Story: The Yogi Master who did drugs.
I was listening to a health conference on the internet over a year ago when I learned an important lesson as a dietitian/human.
The presenters in the conference had been invited to speak because they accomplished some huge feat in supporting wellness in the world with their profession.
This particular speaker was a sought after yogi master. I was surprised by what she had to say…
“I was into drugs for a lot of my life as a young adult. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t stop using. I did all these things to try to quit – like going to drug rehab, hiring professional hypnotherapists, and getting accountability partners. But it didn’t really help. Because at the end of the day, I was trying so hard to CUT this part of myself away. I wanted to deny myself and be someone different. I wanted to love 70% of myself and hate the other 30%.
The more I tried to hate that part of myself, the less I succeeded.
At my turning point, I realized I am a whole person. Trying to CUT parts of myself away hurts and I can’t do it. I stopped trying to CUT and decided to LOVE that particular part of me. Once I achieved this, I realized I could start to allow it to be EXPRESSED differently.
I’ll explain. The part of me that liked doing drugs was an extremist. I am very passionate; and when I do something, I go all the way. Once I recognized this, I was able to find a new outlet for that part of myself and started nurturing it instead of trying to deny it. I went from being an extreme drug user to an extreme yogi, and I love that part of myself now because it’s presenting in a way that’s healthier for me.
It’s still there. I haven’t changed. I’m all in or nothing – but I can appreciate that part of me now.
Try as hard as you can, you can’t cut out core aspects of your personality. You can’t stop being you. People who think they can be someone else are lying to themselves. They’re hiding or ignoring parts of themselves that they think are unlovable. But, you shouldn’t feel like that.
You can love yourself despite your difficult traits. You can love other people despite their difficulties and weaknesses.
Flip it and learn to use those traits in different ways. That’s what I hope to teach the world.”
This is something I see over and over again in our culture.
- This part of you is acceptable. This part of you is not.
- This part of you is good. Talk about it.
- This part of you is bad. Hide it.
- I would love him/her if he/she didn’t…
- You really need to stop being this way…
- Stop overreacting.
- Why don’t you care more?
We’re different. We all cope differently and experience life in different ways.
Yesterday, I made a cheeky comment about people who are grumpy in the morning, but it wasn’t right. The fact that I am a morning person and some people are not does not make it okay for me to shame them or make them feel bad about it. (I do still think you should be eating breakfast… and I think it warrants some introspective thought as to the reason you’re not a morning person. But a non-morning person is not a bad thing).
My patients really struggle with loving their body because it’s not the way they want it to look. But I tell you, it does not work to hate your body. You have to stop punishing yourself and start appreciating yourself – flaws and all. Start trying to understand WHY your personality is presenting in this way and see if you can find another way.
It’s hard to do, but it’s the hard that makes it great.
I’m not a bundle of joy to be around all the time. I try hard to work on my attitude and my coping mechanisms so that I am joyful more often than not. But I fail. And if someone could love me (or if I could love myself) – despite my weaknesses, despite my flaws, despite my differences – then I would be one lucky girl.
My suggestion is to work on accepting yourself as you are RIGHT NOW. If you’re not where you want to be, then work on the presentation of these difficult traits rather than trying to cut yourself in order to fit in or be feel completely loved/accepted.
Who could you be helping to love themselves today?