Woman journaling
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For this lesson you will use your journal pages, beginning a process by which you’ll learn to support yourself...befriend yourself...commit to yourself. You start by learning to dialogue with yourself, asking and receiving the truth of what you think and how you feel.

Oprah.com Exclusive: Keep your journal private with this personal workbook for self-reflection when answering the following questions.

1. You to self: What are your thoughts?
This question shows that you care what your own thoughts are. You value them.

If, when you were a child, no one seemed to care what you thought, then you developed a habit of not listening to yourself any more than those around you did. Perhaps you were teased for your beliefs by a parent or sibling, teaching you to deem your own thoughts valueless. If either of those situations occurred, it would have severed your connection to self in a most fundamental way. If you don’t listen to yourself, you can’t honor yourself. If you don’t listen to yourself, you can’t hear God’s voice within you. If you don’t listen to yourself, you program your body to stop listening to itself. And thus the hell that follows.

In your journal pages, morning and evening, write down your thoughts of the day. Your writing will become a conscious repository for thoughts you would have formerly discounted. You speak, and someone listens. Whatever thoughts you can remember—whether you consider them significant or routine—write them down and allow yourself to see, review, and bear witness to them all. They aren’t good or bad; they just are. What is important is that they are yours. Any positive thought obviously needs to be heard by you. And any negative thought needs to be heard by you as well, to be learned from perhaps and then surrendered for healing.

What matters now is that you realize that it’s right, not wrong, to listen to yourself. In the moment you overeat, it’s not just that an inappropriate dynamic is present; it’s that a healthy dynamic is absent. By learning to build anew the dynamics of a healthy self-regard, the craziness of your compulsion is cut off at the pass.

Next: How to forgive yourself

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