This morning, after a weekend of binge-eating cereal and pepperoni pizza, cheesesteak (hey, I'm from Philly, yo) and fries, I was not surprised to see the scale register that I had gained three pounds. What I had not anticipated were the words that popped out of my mouth:
"you deserve that."
I leaped off the scale, surprised by the anger I heard in the small voice that broke the early morning silence of my downstairs bathroom. What the hell was that about? Was I really eating so that I'd see that number go up, because in some way I felt I deserved to see the number go up? Was I sabotaging myself, and if so, why?
I thought back to the previous weekend I'd spent with all my sisters flitting around me like beautiful butterflies, tending to each other, their children, their needs, while I sat in their midst waiting for them to touch down on my flower and suck from my stamen. My petals were wilted, my stem laying on the ground from all the activity. I hadn't realized I'd felt so drained until this morning, when I realized that I'd fallen completely to the wayside during that day. Not only that, but I'd gone to them with my petals fully opened, every color exposed, waiting for them to say how sweet I smelled, how beautiful my hues, how much I brightened the room. As much as I told myself I was happy to serve them, the truth is, the experience left me feeling less than, feeling like my beauty paled in comparison, my successes nothing when placed against the backdrop of my sister's glamorous invitations to the inaugural balls and high-powered clients.
This morning, when I realized that I had fallen into my old trap of eating and regretting it, it was the first time I realized that it was tied into this feeling of being less than. Like no matter how much I succeed, I will never fully measure up. No matter how hard I work on my body, someone else will always be the beautiful one in the family. No matter how successful I am, someone else will always be the business mogul. No matter how my creative exploits take off, someone else will always be the intense creative one. This is why I drank, people. Because I felt like the only role that was left in my family was the role of the royal screw up. If I was going to be the best at something in my family, the only thing left was to be the biggest disappointment.
Now, I know today that is CRAP. I know that left to my own musings, I am pretty damned amazing, and getting more amazing with each passing day. I know this venture of Beyond the Stuff is on its way to impacting people positively on a global scale - to bring hope and encouragement to millions, that is what I have the power to do if I cast the negative thoughts aside like an annoying gnat buzzing through my field of vision. I know that I am no longer on a path of self-destruction. I'm on a path of enlightenment and beauty.
So, to those of you out there who have people in your life who make you feel small or cause you to question your own value (even if they don't say anything, sometimes old dynamics run deep), I say BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You always have the power to create your own internal script, you can be your own cheerleader. And when the voices that are making you feel small are your own, I offer you advice I got from one of my first sponsors: Say to the Committee in your head:
"Thank you for sharing. We're not gonna go there today. Maybe tomorrow. I'll get back to you."
And then go on about your business, the business of being FABULOUS.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a six year old, who happens to think I'm the most amazing woman who ever walked on this Earth.