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Monday, 10 August 2020 11:11

Never Say Never

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Everybody has something they never want to do, think, feel or experience again. What is your past experience that you ‘never’ want to have? We usually say we never want to do or feel something again because the experience was intensely unpleasant. However, there are a couple of dynamics to using the ‘never’ language. Some would say we doom ourselves to having that experience come around for us again just because we’ve taken such a forceful and bold stance against it. I don’t think it’s inevitable that we will attract that situation to ourselves just by affirming we will never go there again. But by observation, we have to admit it happens quite often.

Another way to look at saying never is that we close off our options for changing our experience, or our response, to that situation again. We decide in advance that there is only one way of reacting to that set of circumstances, it’s not good for us, and therefore it is to be avoided at all costs. In doing this, we are completely unprepared to choose a different response if it comes back around. We deny ourselves that holy instant between stimulus and response to think for a moment and consider how many choices we have and how many ways are at our disposal to respond in a way that makes the event or situation beneficial to us.

In my mind, buying and wearing a size 20 would make me admit I was fat. And I was just not going to go there. So, I shamed myself into wearing jeans that were too small for me and that chafed my skin. I felt miserable wearing them because it was uncomfortable to sit down and they pushed my stomach out so far in front of me it looked bigger than it was. When I gave myself permission to wear a size 20, I was able to feel good in my clothes again.

The point is we want to be good enough to ourselves to allow ourselves to experience the ‘never’ event without shame or blame. We want to learn to accept ourselves in whatever size or circumstance we find ourselves. Failure is not an option because the truth is, we are not failed human beings. The truth is we are joyful, honest, creative creatures. And when we live authentic lives, aware of our choices, making mindful decisions about our lives, there can be no failure. That is the definition of success. We want to treat ourselves well enough to honor that truth rather than play the shame game that the ego would have us play.

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Betty Brink

Betty Brink is an expert on the mental and emotional aspects of dieting and body image. She is the author of "The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss." In seminars, speeches, and consultations, she demonstrates practical methods to quiet the diet chatter, and to empower yourself to make conscious choices in diet, in life, and in relationships.

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