Approval and Acceptance

School started last week for my kids. And at the end of the week, we all had colds. Fabulous.

Whenever I get sick, I know I should eat better, drink more water, etc. But all I want is comfort food. Which often translates as junk food. I know that has something to do with why I put some of the pounds back on last winter: because I was sick every other week and practically the entire month of April.

So here I am again. I had just gotten back into a good habit of logging my food and was even being really good about drinking more water. And then with this rotten head cold, I slipped back into the haze of junk food. I know I’m not the only one who does this, too.

But this post isn’t really about whining. What I really want to think about is how to be in this place where I know I’m not anywhere near eating healthy and still being okay with it.

Today, my Louise Hay calendar said:

“The two main keys to positive changes in my life are self-approval and self-acceptance. I know these qualities work to make my life the best it can be.”

I asked myself, is it possible for me to approve of myself right now? I’m making terrible food and drink choices! I know that I am. And yet I do it anyway. I give myself excuses: I don’t feel well and this is comfort food. Hmph.

Well, maybe I can get to approval and acceptance in this way: I am not perfect. I cannot be perfect all the time. I am going to slip off track now and then. I am human. And human beings do not live in a state of perfection or joy or positivity 100% of the time. It simply isn’t possible. And actually, that is a good thing. We need that contrast. If we lived in that perfect state all the time, we would never want more. And wanting more or new is always good.

After a few days of making “bad” food choices, I’ve pretty much had enough. My cold is clearing up. And now I’m ready to get back on track. Will I start logging and drinking more water tomorrow? Well, I hope so. At the very least, I feel that I will make at least some healthier choices. And that is something I can approve of.

So what happens the next time I get a cold? There’s a good chance I’ll be making those less-than-healthy choices again. Is it possible to approve of myself then? That is a really tough one.

I want to be human. We all have pain. We all go through stuff. Whatever it is. There is no comparison. It doesn’t matter what one person’s pain is compared to mine. These things we go through are deep. They are also here to teach us. And they stay with us until we have learned the lesson. Perhaps even beyond. It is part of being human. Now I want to go beyond this place. I want to embrace my humanity, including my pain. And I want to move past that pain. I want to embrace it, so that I can let it go.

The Human Condition