I get it. You have based your life off of living in black and white. Why do I get it? Because I've lived in the black and white world for a very long time. It almost didn't feel like a choice. I literally saw the world in black and white. I didn't understand there was this beautiful world called The Grey Area. My wonderful and glorious Grey Area. I love you so dearly. I had to go through some major lessons to find you. Now that I know you exist, I can live the rest of my life dedicated to honoring you and choosing you.
I want to explain why living in a black and white world is so harmful. (It's quite damaging to be honest).
The only way I know how to explain is through experience in my life. So here it goes.
F O O D
Oh boy. This one is a dark one. I'm sure most of you know by now that in high school I started this thing with food. I controlled it. Every single thing that went in my mouth. It was an all or nothing type of approach. The grey area with food wound't show up in my life for the next 10+ years. So I guess you can say this is my biggest lesson in the black and white world. I either had to eat "perfect" or go all out. I was an expert restrictor, an expert vegan, an expert calorie counter, an expert grocery shopper, an expert control freak. I couldn't see food in any other light. There were massive rules around EVERYTHING. Having a green juice AND a piece of pizza in one day was never an option. There was no grey! It was perfection or destruction. I understand that having an eating disorder is a disease- with lots of mental health issues attached to it but most people who suffer around food have lost all sense of balance. It literally doesn't exist in our world.
The good news. I found out it didn't need to be that way. There is this wonderful place to land- and that my friends as you know is called The Grey Area. It's a place of balance, love, peace, freedom, and vitality. Food is just food. It's neither good or bad, right or wrong. It's neutral. ALL food is available to you. The great news is once you allow all food your body naturally craves a balance of all food. Now I can drink smoothies in the morning and/or eat a donut. I can have a chicken salad for lunch and/or pizza. I can have salmon, brown rice, and veggies for dinner and/or enchiladas and drinks! If I drink a green juice for lunch I'm completely okay with having ice cream for dessert (even if I don't drink that juice- it doesn't matter!). AND get this- my body just does this naturally. There are no disordered eating habits around it. I eat with my intuition, listen to my body, and deliver what it wants. You really can have it all. Trust the process. Give The Grey Area a chance.
Thinking this is impossible? Learn more about The Body Love Society AND feel free to email me for support: firstname.lastname@example.org
S P O R T S
It felt as if I was born an athlete. At 4 years old I started playing soccer and the rest was history. I played all the way through college- so about 20+ years. It was one of the only important things in my life for the first 2 decades of my life (besides family and friends of course). Playing sports gave me purpose in life. I learned so many wonderful lessons from being an athlete. Such as hard work, determination, teamwork etc. I also met my best friends. So growing up an athlete was an absolute positive.
As you know I was very black and white. So playing almost became too much. Literally every single game was life or death. It was to the extreme. My mood was based off how soccer was going in my life. Was I starting? Was I playing a full 90 minute game? Did we win? If all these questions were a yes then life was good. All was well. I could breathe. BUT if any of these questions were a no then all hell would break loose in my life. My world was crumbling. My world was ending. It was sad to put so much pressure on myself. I understand that playing a sport is intense and competitive but damn, it's not THAT important.
When I graduated from college I remember saying these exact words to myself. "I will never stress about anything else in my life now that my soccer career is over." OMG LOL. Poor 22 year old Lauren. She had no idea what was coming for her. The point is- I don't play competitive soccer anymore. So I'm just thinking it would have been nice to ease up a bit, to live in the grey area for those 20+ years of my life (especially in college). There REALLY was a grey area I could have lived in.
R E L A T I O N S H I P S . L I F E . L O S S
I could literally write a book on this section (I probably will). I'm actually not going to go TOO in depth with this because just by reading those 3 words you can already tell how crazy one can get in the black and white world.
I guess the theme of this would be: when something goes wrong in my world, my relationships, a loss - I crumble. I'm broken. I feel like I'm in survival mode. The world is dark. I feel tons of fear and to be quite honest can become a victim to my circumstances.
YES, I 100% get to feel my feelings and I get to be validated in what I feel and I get to take all the time I need to grieve, cry, heal etc (and so do you!).
When a trauma happens in someone's life it doesn't automatically mean that the world or the Universe is out to get you or against you. It doesn't mean you are being punished. But of course living in a black and white world I thought for this to be true. Life is fucking hard sometimes AND it's also fucking wonderful. So that being said there will always be a grey area to live in even when you feel like your world around you has been shifted and shaped and all out of sorts.
Take all the time you need to feel and grieve dear one, but remember about the black and white thinking. It's never one way or the other.
"And you were just like the moon, so full of imperfections, but just like the moon you shined in times of darkness."
Be compassionate with yourself.
Let go of things you cannot control.
Give yourself the access to live your life in The Grey Area.
What are your thoughts with black and white thinking? Have you found your grey area yet? I would love to hear from you- email me at email@example.com
Ps. I must give credit to one of my best friends (who happens to be a psychologist- phewf that's helpful!) and my lovely therapist who has identified the black and white thinker in me. I owe it to them to my new found Grey Area.