I kiss her on the forehead and make her a promise. It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us ― Colleen Hoover
I had a wonderful conversation with Christina Brittain on this week's IC show. Christina describes herself as having always been a spiritual seeker. She was raised by her single mother in a household where conversations about spirituality, meditation, auras, and the meaning of life were the norm. When she was only two years old, her mother took her to see a shaman. Given her background, it seems only natural that as an adult, Christina would be drawn to energy healing modalities and spiritual philosophies. She studied everything from Movement to Reiki to Lifespan Integration, to the work of Byron Katie.
Christina and I were both raised by single mothers. We talked about the positives and negatives that can result from being brought up in this environment. As close as these relationships can be, there's also the possibility that they can become enmeshed. When the boundaries between the mother and child become so blurred, they can not differentiate their feelings and experiences from the other persons. Both of our mothers were very strong, controlling women. They each shared an obsession with food, body image, and how their daughter should look. They innocently projected their fears around food and body weight onto us.
When I was only nine years old, my mother told me that unlike my sister, I had her body type, which meant that I would struggle with my weight for the rest of my life. She then proceeded to share her diet pills with me. This was back in the sixties when diet pills were made from amphetamine mixed with methamphetamine. I was a scared, strung-out child suffering from low self-esteem and a dreaded fear of getting fat!
I look back at photos of me at that time, and I see that I was a perfectly normal healthy-looking child. I wasn't fat, and I didn't need to be put on a diet. The pressure of food restrictions placed on me at such an early age only worsened my relationship with food. I had grown up equating food with comfort and felt deprived of this form of love and affection. I would steal pennies from my mother's purse and run to the local sweetshop to buy candy. It felt like I was trying to fill myself up with the sweetness I was missing in my life.
As the years progressed, so did my obsessive preoccupation with food and body image. I have vacillated between being anorexic to being overweight. The irony is that regardless of the number on the scale, or my reflection in the mirror, I have always felt fat. An image of myself I have carried since the day I was first introduced to diet pills.
Thankfully, due to the 3 Principles' understanding, the preoccupation with my weight and body image has lessened. I see that when I am in a low mood, my negative self-image is more in the forefront of my mind. Occupying large amounts of space and robbing me from being engaged in life and with those around me. On the other hand, when I am in a higher mood, with less of 'me and how I look' on my mind, I am far more present and in the flow of life.
I also see that my mother's actions were innocent. She was doing the best she could, given her level of consciousness and the thinking she had at the time. She wanted the best for me and was doing what she thought would be the most helpful. She didn't want me to suffer the same struggles she was dealing with. Unfortunately, by seeing me as an extension of her, she inadvertently helped create the problem she was trying to save me from.
One of the lessons I learned from this experience was to be mindful not to project my fearful, insecure thoughts onto my children; To remember that they are separate beings and not extensions of me; honoring that they have their own wisdom within them, which will guide them in all areas and aspects of their life.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕