What Mass Shootings, BLM, #MeToo, Yo-Yo Dieting and Binge Eating Have in Common
This post was inspired by a deep need to respond to the world. As a coach and member of the spiritual community, I disagree with the idea that we need to just focus on the positive and not allow ourselves to engage with the news because it “lowers our vibration.” I believe that—on the contrary—we NEED to deeply understand, feel and engage with the world. And that at the same time we need to do the work on ourselves to process that emotion, raise our vibration and be conscious and how we respond to and relate to the world. As a human, I feel deeply the hate, division, and violence … and I see my work as a response to it. Here’s why.
As a coach, I peel back layers for a living.
I mostly coach people who struggle with yo-yo dieting, binge eating and body image, but once you start peeling back the layers you find that most people are emotional eaters (and dieters) because they are using food to avoid something.
Eating disorders, binge eating, hating our bodies, counting every calorie and macro, over-exercising… those are just symptoms. They are ONE way that people express something that is so much deeper: a feeling of unworthiness.
The worthiness wound is all-encompassing. No man or woman is exempt.
It is the reason you feel like you cannot just rest, but you must push harder.
Like you should look or be a different way in order for people to accept you.
Like if you don’t have a goal then you are lazy.
Like you are a fraud if you tell people who you really are and what is really going on in your life.
The worthiness wound is deepened when people are discriminated against based on the color of their skin, their gender, their place of birth or their education.
Most crime, mass shootings, sexual harassment and assault, and hatred in general comes from a deep feeling of not enoughness — feeling the need to exert your power over someone else because you feel so unworthy, unloved, unaccepted and powerless in yourself.
This feeling of unworthiness can turn into mental illness, yes.
Mental illness can be the result of people identifying with that deep feeling of unworthiness as who they are, inextricable from their identity. Many violent crimes are the result of the worthiness wound being acted upon in the form of aggression.
But mental illness isn’t at cause of our social problems.
The cause is the way that we treat one another.
The cause is social constructs that are in place that marginalize some people and promote others.
The cause is the advertising and the entertainment industry that makes us feel like we need to be different.
The cause is the way that the economy is set up to favor people with specific skills sets and education.
The cause is competition and the way that we feel like we have to simultaneously fit in and stand out enough to be “chosen”… all without ruffling any feathers or making anyone not like us in the process.
The cause is technology and the way that we are dismantling communities and connection in favor of hiding behind our computer screens and commenting cruel things to others to make ourselves feel better.
The cause is the pressure that we are all under to achieve more and more to the point of burnout, depression, and often suicide.
At cause of the violence, the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, and the political mayhem that defines our current reality is literally every nook and cranny of our social, technological, economic, and education systems.
We can debate guns vs. mental illness all day. We can (and SHOULD) put policies in place that will make it more difficult for people to be harmed, killed, and discriminated against. We can (and should) support mental health care. But at the end of the day, those are external solutions to an internal problem.
Yes, mental illness needs to be addressed.
Yes, gun control needs to be addressed.
Yes, immigration, white supremacy, and misogyny needs to be addressed.
But you know what else needs to be addressed?
The way we treat one another.
The way we feel about ourselves (self-love).
The way we define success.
The structure of our education system, economic models, and marketing and advertising.
So what is the cure?
Love. Love is the only cure.
I know it sounds cliché. I know it sounds fanciful.
But it sounds that way when you don’t know first-hand the deep, transformational power of self-love. Once you have experienced unconditional acceptance of yourself and your life and everything that you are and know that you are ENOUGH and WORTHY and a channel for love on earth, you cannot suffer from depression. You cannot have an eating disorder. You cannot pick up a gun and shoot another living being.
Because LOVE IS POWERFUL. It changes you. And when you experience that for yourself it literally spills out of you and into the world. It changes the way that you see everything—from the sunset to the homeless person on the corner to the angry, outcast, aggressive child.
Everything that is not love is a call for it.
Our world is CRYING for more love. It is DYING for more love.
Not just love in words, but love in deeds… love integrated. Policies that reflect love. Communities that promote love. Acts of kindness. Love woven into the fabric of our words, of our economic systems, of our food, and of our education.
I am a voice for all of these things.
As a white, heterosexual, cisgender, well educated, upper middle class woman I recognize my privilege. But I am also here to leverage that privilege. To remind people that privilege doesn’t make us immune to the worthiness wound. But also that it comes with the responsibility to use our privilege and our voice to can speak out on behalf of what we believe in.
So when I use my voice and my skills as a coach to help people with food and body image, I am really addressing the deeper issue—the worthiness wound.
My life’s work is dedicated to creating a safe space for people to explore their worthiness wound and the way that they are expressing it and to learn to cultivate that love inside of them.
My voice is not only for those who struggle with food and body, but for all people who suffer from a feeling of unworthiness.
I am committed to also being a voice for all of the social and structural issues that are involved in creating and perpetuating the worthiness wound.
I pledge to be authentic and real and say what I really think and feel, and not pink-wash my message and paint it in positivity so as not to piss anyone off.
I pledge to be an activist for the causes that I believe in and lend my voice to love and equality and freedom.
I pledge to do entrepreneurship differently. To do network marketing differently. To prove that success is born from authenticity and passion and not from Instagram filters or catchy slogans that make people feel like they NEED your services.
No one is broken. No one is unworthy. Many of us just have some layers to peel back to get to the essence of love and worthiness within us.
Everything that is not love is a call for it.
How will you answer the call?