Marianne Williamson writes that all actions stem from one of two emotions: fear or love.
While I think our emotions are more nuanced than that,
I find this distinction useful when my clients are very attached to their stories about why they act the way they do.
For example, they were very upset that I chose to make myself dinner instead of arriving at a meeting on time (read the blog post that got me lots of flak!).
They said that they could see the benefit of prioritizing themselves (although they don’t)
but in this situation, I had messed up by not planning my day to include time for dinner
and therefore I should honour my commitment to the meeting instead of me.
In other words
I can be nice to myself
if I am a good girl
and I don’t screw up.
But if I’m bad,
I don’t deserve to be taken care of (by me).
I think in this case Marianne Williamson is right – the choice is: love or fear.
So much to fear:
That the other committee members will judge you.
They’ll say you’re irresponsible, always late, not committed.
That your friends or family will judge you.
They’ll say you’re selfish, self-indulgent, self-obsessed, always think about yourself, put your needs before others, neglect your responsibilities.
They fear that once they allow themselves to consider their own needs and wants,
they will never stop.
They worry that they will in fact become selfish and neglect all their responsibilities.
for all the years they have neglected themselves
the pendulum swinging from constant self-neglect to complete self-indulgence
love is limitless
there’s enough for you and the ones you love and the ones you’re committed to.
When you care for yourself with love,
it includes love for everyone else as well.
Then, attending to all your duties and commitments and responsibilities
is done with love and joy and peace and presence.
So so much better than fear
and for everyone else.
Some of my clients think this sounds too simple, too pretty, too easy.
Today, do something loving for yourself
something you would normally consider too indulgent
something that makes you feel loved
and notice, be curious, about how you behave the rest of the day.
Are you, possibly, more loving to everyone else as well?
Is your result the opposite of what you’ve been fearing for so long?
If so, continue with the experiment tomorrow, and the next day…
According to Marianne Williamson, fear is the cause of excess weight.
Imagine if you could lose your excess weight by replacing fear with love?
I know it’s possible, and so does she.
Because we’ve both done it.
And you can too.