Ok, I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now. I was reading the other day about self-esteem and the third chakra: about how we strengthen our 3rd chakra by honoring our promises to ourselves, and in honoring those promises we build our self-esteem. Basically, it boils down to this: if you make yourself a promise or set a goal, and you follow through with it, your self-esteem increases. “Hey, I accomplished something! I am strong enough to see things through! I can do this! Yay, me!” And of course, every time you think that, you become more likely to follow through on your next promise or goal. It’s like a snowball: every time it turns over, it picks up a little more snow.
It also works the other way, though. If you say to yourself, “Tomorrow I will DEFINITELY do some sort of exercise for half an hour, even if I just walk around the block 4 or 5 times,” and then you don’t follow through, your self-esteem decreases. And again, that snowball picks up a little more snow every time it rolls over, until “Damn, I forgot to exercise” becomes, “Why even bother? I never stick to my goals anyway, because I have no fucking self-discipline at all. Where’s the ice cream?”
On a personal level, I find that as my self-esteem drops, I gain weight. I used to think it was because I hated myself so much for being fat (or what I perceive as fat) that I punished myself by STAYING fat. (Which of course, made me hate myself more, so I punished myself more, so I hated myself more . . . ad infinitum.) Now I know that as I lose self-esteem, I’m actually losing energy through my 3rd chakra. It’s like a hole in the bottom of a bottle: the energy comes in through the top of my head, down through my body, but when it hits that 3rd chakra, it just starts pouring out. There’s a little left to drop into my 2nd and 1st chakras, but not much, which in turn means that those 2 chakras are hurting, as well.
I’ve come to think that the weight I carry (which is mostly around my 3rd chakra) is really my spirit trying to stop up that hole. My spirit can see that I’m not doing the energetic work to heal the leak from the inside, so my body gains weight as a last-ditch attempt to keep that energy from leaking out. In other words, the only way to get rid of the fat that makes me hate myself so much is to start feeling better about myself (thus stopping the energy drain), REGARDLESS of what weight I’m carrying. How ironic. :P
Since arriving at that conclusion, I’ve been reading (and sometimes re-reading) a lot of fat-acceptance and feminist blogs as well as books on self-esteem, and the other day, I had another “connect-the-dots” moment. Bear with me here, because I haven’t articulated it fully (even to myself) until now.
I find it interesting that we (as women) live in a society where the standard of beauty that we expect to and/or are expected to adhere to is generally impossible. Since we are constantly trying to be something that most of us will never be, we are by default constantly failing. We set unrealistically low weight goals, we set unrealistically high nutrition and exercise goals, and when we don’t accomplish or stick to those goals, we feel like failures. And energetically, we are. Here’s the really horrific thing about that cycle: our energetic system, our spiritual anatomy, if you will, doesn’t recognize the difference between realistic, unrealistic, and “oh-my-god-have-you-lost-your-mind-that’s-IMPOSSIBLY unrealistic.” Our energy anatomy* (EA) recognizes two things: the goal you set/ promise you made, and whether or not you accomplished/kept it. That’s it. No more, no less. If you set a goal to weigh 92 pounds, your EA only recognizes that you didn’t get there. It doesn’t recognize (in the third chakra) that it would have been BAD to get there, and that not getting there is a good thing. It just registers that you broke your promise to yourself.
And again, I come back to the idea that most of us can’t look like celebrities. But whom do we want to emulate? Celebrities. We are operating, from the time we are little girls, all through puberty and adolescence, into adulthood, with a constant drain on our self-esteem, because we can’t accomplish the goals we are setting for ourselves. And guess what happens? Our bodies try to stop the leaks, which of course, makes us hate ourselves even more. We are living in a society whose expectations create a DEFAULT setting in women of low self-esteem. That is our DEFAULT emotional and energetic state. It’s not an aberration, it’s not a fluke, it’s not the case in a few, isolated women. It is the (say it with me, here) DEFAULT. We are leaking energy in a veritable flood.
It’s an interesting thing to think about. Horrifying, but interesting.
On a final note, if working on your self-esteem for your own sake seems like too big a task, then think about this: do you have a daughter? Do you hope to someday? Is there any little girl on the planet that you sort of kind of like? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” (as it is for me), then what are we modeling for these little girls? When I think of it in those terms, I have to admit that I find reserves of strength and determination in myself that amaze me. I don’t want the little girl I’m thinking of to grow up in a state of constant energetic loss, but unless I can heal myself, I can’t help her.
::::sigh:::: I’ve tried to end this 5 different times, but my brain is so busy now that I don’t know how to finish it. So this is the (rather abrupt) end. ;)
*The term “energy anatomy” comes from Carolyn Myss. Credit where it’s due, and all that. :)