KINDNESS AS SELF-CARE
Written by Aziza founder, Laila Ghattas
In her new book Women, Food and God, Geneen Roth writes about the unhealthy eating habits that develop out of our chronic avoidance of our emotional life.
The things that have happened that made or make us feel so bad and so uncomfortable that we choose to tuck them away, bury them and replace with the increasingly addictive numbing of the feelings through food, through the distraction of filling up the hole made by the avoidance, regardless of appetite.
There is a paragraph so profound I’m moved to share with you for the beginning that is this new year. For the hope. For the potential. For the healing.
“Can you imagine how your life would have been different if each time you were felling sad or angry as a kid an adult said to you, “Come here, sweetheart, tell me all about it.” If when you were overcome with grief at your best friend’s rejection, someone said to you, “Oh darling, tell me more. Tell me where you feel those feelings. Tell me how your belly feels, your chest. I want to know every little thing. I’m here to listen to you, hold you, be with you.
‘All any feeling wants is be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell its story. It wants to dissolve like a thousand writhing snakes that with a flick of kindness become harmless strands of rope.” P.100
We can regret we didn’t have this, or we can begin giving this kind of space and time to ourselves now. We can teach our friends that this is what we need when we seek their help or shoulder. We can offer it to the children in our lives. We can afford it to give to our family, siblings, friends.
There is always time for kindness. Forget the fixing. Just listen. Be present. No greater gift awaits to be given or received.
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