Where Kindness Is

I remember the years that I believed that once I “handled” my relationship with food, I’d be done.
I wouldn’t have to think about it again.

And I remember the years that I believed that once I had a glimpse of what many teachers call my
“true nature,” I’d be forever awakened.

I also remember that I believed that once the cancer was removed from my breast, I’d be saved. Healthy.

Here’s what I know now: Food will always be a doorway for me. It’s like having an immediate signal to
pay attention. When I am sad or confused or tired—feeling any number of feelings from being in earth
school—food will often pop into my mind, seem like a good idea. And most people would say, “So
what. You just ate a spoonful of almond butter. That’s not exactly a binge.” True. Not a binge but not
the truth either. Not turning toward myself, inviting the sadness or confusion or tiredness. How will I
be my own best love if I keep turning away from what wants to be loved? Wanting to eat when I am
feeling sadness is the exact definition of turning away, of abandoning myself. It’s not about the food.
It’s about where love is. Where kindness is.

There is no “one and done.” With eating, waking up, cancer. That’s a myth that keeps people hooked
on feeling bad about themselves. I’ve fallen for it for years and every time, I lose myself in the promise
that if only I could fix what the mind tells me is wrong, I’d be fixed. We’re not done until we stop
breathing (and who knows what happens then?) What else are we going to do but learn how to be
kind to ourselves and how to welcome what we would rather reject. That welcoming is what is called
practice. And for practice, effort has to be made. Every day. Seriously? Every day? Yes. What better
way to spend your time than walking out of prison…

A or B: Fall for the myth. Believe you need to be done now. Take the quickest route offered.


Notice when you are caught. (Wanting to eat when you’re not hungry or feeling shame or like you’re
never going to get “it” are all waving flags). Time to turn toward what wants love. Don’t leave yourself
when you are most needed.

We invite you to leave a comment below.

4 responses to “Where Kindness Is

  1. 100% true! If I can bring to mind the love and support that I can show another and realize that I can be the recipient of the same.
    It helps when I can step aside, and become aware of the part of me that’s hurting and wanting food to escape into.
    Thank you Geneen!

  2. Geneen,

    I was introduced to your first book back in 1996 I think, so it was pretty early on. I was a young mother then to a 3 year old. I gobbled it up (pun intended!) and then bought the workbook “why weight” and delved right into your ideas. I dont remember now if I lost weight then, but I do remember that wake up and feeling of freedom for the first time in my life! I loved it and really swam with it. however, life took me on some changes – two more pregnancies and you know how it goes. anyway, I am now almost 60 and still dealing with this issue, trying to be at peace with myself but it’s darn hard. But you?? I’m surprised to read that you are also still struggling!! you have developed your theory and practices exponentially (I read most of your subsequent books and took course 1 online), and you are amazing at this, and yet – you are still struggling??? I find that a hard pill to swallow. sending you much love and wishes for continued health and good work.

  3. I find this so insightful, Geneen. I’ve moved beyond food craziness now for some years, but recently had strange dreams about binging followed by thoughts about when I did binge, wondering about its attractive qualities.

    It’s undoubtedly a message as you write, to pay attention to what needs attention. Thanks for this.

Leave a Reply