One of the main blocks to genuine change is resistance – resistance to pain that we’d rather suppress, and resistance to who we are. This is why awareness and acceptance are key to healing and transformation. When you become aware of why you do the things you do as well as accept yourself as you are, then you can finally heal and grow from a place of honesty and love.
How many times have you engaged in a “bad” behavior that you want to change (like binge eating) without even realizing it? My clients often talk about being on autopilot and not realizing they did something until after the fact. You don’t just eat a whole pizza out of the blue. There are beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that fuel your behaviors. This is why you need awareness to make changes. You need to be aware of your thoughts on a daily basis.
What are you thinking?
What are you telling yourself in your head?
What do you believe to be true about yourself and your experience?
If you believe that you’re unlovable, and you’re a lost cause, and you’re never going to change, of course that kind of negative thought pattern is going to fuel destructive behaviors. It is literally your brain’s job to seek evidence to support your beliefs, so if you believe you’re always going to fail at a diet, you will – it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Acceptance goes a long way when it comes to healing. Take your body, for instance. If you struggle with body image and hate your body, know this: you don’t need to love your body to accept it. You can hate it AND accept it at the same time. The point is to just accept how you are now, “flaws” and all. From there, you can start your journey of growth and healing from a place of honesty. The truth is that if you genuinely hate your body, you can’t just stare in the mirror and say “I love my body” a hundred times a day and “fix” yourself. But you can love the part of you that hates your body.
When it comes to acceptance, remember that it doesn’t equal complacency. Just because you accept yourself how you are doesn’t mean you’ll become complacent and give up on growth and transformation. It’s actually the opposite. Acceptance is the key to REAL change, because at the end of the day, you can’t heal what you hate.