What’s YOUR Word?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments


Mine is FAT. In big capital letters. Nothing lowercase about it. I carry it with me everywhere. Always have. Even at my thinnest, it was there, lurking in the dark, relegating me to a life without flour, sugar and fat. It is the Word that is engraved on the shackles that I wear. I display it like a badge and if you touch it…you will experience an array of behaviors.

Funny thing is, you don’t have to do or say anything to evoke a reaction. I only have to THINK that you are judging or rejecting me. The dialogue in my head goes right to: “you’re unacceptable”. I literally fold in on myself and am doused with the sensation of hot lava being poured over my head follow by paralyzation. I close the door and turn off the lights. I shut down, play it safe, avoid the pain.

I’ve worked very hard over the years to deal with my Word. I’ve tried to tame it, ignore it, cover it up, move around it, push it down, hate it, love it, embrace it plus 1000 other methods. I’ve been successful at putting it to the side to allow other words like, competent, successful and confident to bleed through, but when the chips are down, the pressure is on the stakes are high…FAT wins.

The feeling may dissipate as I move on with my day, but if it goes unattended and unprocessed, it stays there and festers. When I least expect it, It will project itself onto an unsuspecting coworker, store clerk or even worse, a loving friend or family member. This only exacerbates things because after hurting someone else, i feel more remorse and the internal dialogue escalates.

What is your Word? PUSHY, STUPID, BLACK, SHORT, FEMALE, CHEAP. PERFECT, NICE, SKINNY, BOSSY, GAY, STRONG, SENSITIVE, UNATTRACTIVE. although we share Words, the list is endless and as individual as it is insidious.

You may be surprised to learn that some peoples “Words” are not so as obvious. My client Sue’s word is “PRETTY”. When under pressure she believes that her success is due to her looks as opposed to her intellect and social intelligence. This makes her feel undeserving as she doubts her abilities as a manager. Joe’s word is “CRAZY”, due to a long history of mental illness in his family. You never know what someone else Word may be, but I bet you know your own. All too well.


Want to live a life of coexistence with your Word? These are the steps I follow. Try them on for size:

Know it

You may already know your Word, or you may have a few. Take some time to review the occasions in your life when you’ve felt paralyzed by something. Embarrassed or even ashamed. Whatever your internal voice was chattering about, that’s it. It will sound something like ” It’s because I’m _____ (Fill in the blank) That’s your Word.

Notice it

Take note of what happens in your body. What is the sensation? Temperature? What are you called to do? What do you say to yourself? Sit with it. Don’t push it away too quickly. The only way around it is to go through it. Just notice it. .

Share it

Find what Author Martha Beck calls a “compassionate witness”. (CW) A safe person who will listen to you tell your story without cheerleading or commenting. Just holding the space. I’ve “trained” several people in my life to do this for me. It is an absolute game changer. I’ve also found that when my CW is unavailable, writing it down in explicit detail has the same effect. (I recommend destroying the evidence)

Release it

This is the easiest step. Once you’ve fully processed the feelings, the sensations brought on with the Word will disappear magically and effortlessly. You’ll simply release it and move on. No worse for the wear.

You’ll find that each time you do this, the process will be shorter and shorter. It will take the heat off the Word more quickly and get you back to your life more immediately.

If someone had told me I’d be writing a blog about being FAT, I’d have told them they were certifiably Crazy (sorry Joe). But what I know for sure is that FAT is just a word… It may describe me but it doesn’t define or degrade me. That’s progress.

When we shed a light on our WORD we can let more joy in to our lives. Know it, Notice it, Share it and Release it….. Give it a try….it works…..You have my Word!

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