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Excerpt from  Chapter 2

ďLooking Fear in the EyeĒ


ďThe Only Way Around Something is Through It.Ē

                                                                        ~ Anonymous

     Not long ago I wrote a farewell letter to my body fear. Getting my thoughts and feelings down on paper was another strong step forward.

Dear Body Fear,

     Youíve been with me a long time. You are so familiar that I tend to believe everything you say must be true, especially when you remind me of things that I could have done and didnít, or start me worrying about what may happen in the future.

     All these worries keep me from enjoying the present moment, and block my body from becoming healthier. Your unwelcome company affects how my body works. My breath changes and becomes more shallow, closing the gates of energy that feed my cells. My stomach tightens and restricts the natural absorption of food. My heart feels your presence and reacts in primal ways.

     I not only feel you in my body, but also in my mind. A favorite theme of yours is that anything negative that happens is bound to get worse. A health problem is a fruitful area for you, a place where all sorts of imaginary worst case scenarios festerófrom a new small pain that might lead to something dangerous, to ominous blood test results.

     A particularly troublesome belief you whisper to me when Iím not feeling well is that my health issues are somehow entirely my fault. I must have done something wrong.

     Iím putting you on notice that I am stopping this self-defeating thinking, because it always results in taking me down the slope of guilt and negative physical repercussions. Iím going to talk back to you in healthy, life affirming ways. I want to change some things you bring to my attention that hinder my feeling better, but I will not allow finger pointing. Your power to make me feel bad about myself will no longer go unchecked.

     I must admit that Iím learning much from you, Body Fear. I understand that when I allow you to control me, Iím diminished. Iím making a conscious choice to stretch myself and look for positive solutions to situations that involve my health. Iím learning not to get mired in self-blame or expectations of the poorest outcome. I will live in the present and step out of your shadow.
Now that I see you more clearly and know what I can do to change, you are shrinking in power. Iím freeing myself from our abusive relationship. Your diminished strength brings new creativity to my life, room for more pleasure and trust.

     And believe it or not, Body Fear, I do appreciate you. Without you I would never have experienced my innate strengths so clearly. I would never have learned so well that I can really trust my body.

     As I build new and more positive beliefs, I reinforce them by reminding myself of situations and experiences when I had more strength and agility. I often bring up those memories, not to feel a yearning for the good old days, but as a reminder that my body knows what health is, and that it is resilient and ever-changing. As I let go of body fear and other old unwanted beliefs and emotions, I find new energy and health. It is a slow but very powerful process, like a large ship that turns in a new direction, moving surely toward a better destination.






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