Hands and heart
2. You to self: I forgive you for your mistakes.
This lesson speaks to your need to show compassion for yourself as a prerequisite for attracting compassion from others. And the "other" from whom you are seeking compassion is the working of your own body. Your body, remember, is a reflection of your thoughts...particularly your thoughts about yourself. As long as you withhold love from yourself, your body will appear to withhold love from you.

If you didn’t receive much mercy as a child—if mistakes were met with a lack of forgiveness or you were repeatedly told you weren’t worthy or good—then overeating is a reenactment of the message, "You’re bad! You’re bad!" The fork or spoon with which you overeat is not a beautiful thing with which you gift yourself, but rather a whip with which you punish yourself. And once you realize what you’ve done, once you see that you’ve fallen off the wagon again, then you’re thrown into a new cycle of anger—anger at yourself for overeating!

Write down whatever you feel were mistakes, but then try to forgive yourself. Explore the feelings of both remorse and forgiveness. Feel the pain of knowing you’ve made a mistake, but also the extraordinary relief that comes over your spirit once you’ve atoned for your error and surrendered it to God.

When you overeat, you show a lack of mercy for yourself. By reclaiming the compassion that is natural to your true self, you will learn to eat moderately as an expression of self-love. If and when you fall off the wagon—times when, despite your efforts, you can’t resist the urge to eat self-destructively—you will learn how it feels to say "Oops" with a lighthearted acceptance rather than a groan of despair. And that will decrease the chances that it will happen again, for you will have stopped fueling self-hate with more self-hate.

Next: Why dreams are important


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