What do these two things (unexpectedly) have in common?
What do diets and romantic comedies have in common?
They sell us on the “happily ever after”
All we have to do is play a love song on our guitar in the pouring rain, and we’ll win the heart of our lover, and live happily ever after. Job done.
Except, there is no “happily ever after”. I’m 13 years into the most loving and beautiful marriage, and there’s still no happily ever after.
There’s not a day coming where I stop doing the little things.
The 20-second hugs. The “I love you’s”. The little acts of kindness. The random kisses on the forehead.
What would happen to this beautiful relationship I’m a part of …
… if, instead of acts of love and care, and nourishing this relationship every day …
… I replaced it with neglect and destructive acts of abuse?
What if I started making demands of my wife, expecting her to be there for me, while I just took her for granted?
Expected her to do all the work, while I did nothing.
Called her worthless, useless, lazy, and hopeless …
But then, every once in a while, I would bring flowers home.
That good feeling would last for a day or so before the abuse and neglect started again.
Oof. That hurts my heart to even think about. Just thinking about that makes my chest clench in pain, and I feel sick to my stomach.
I could not IMAGINE treating my wife like that.
And yet … what if I shifted the focus from my marriage to my relationship with the person I see in the mirror.
If my body could talk … ooohff, the stories it would tell.
Neglect. Abuse. Taking it for granted, while expecting it to always show up for me. Demanding that it would.
Every single day. Calling it names: worthless … useless … meaningless …
Ouch. It’s painful to think about how I used to treat my body.
I’m over 38 years into this relationship with my body. And it ain’t no love story.
Not until 3 years ago. 3 years ago, when my coach asked me:
“If you make a list of all the things you love and value, how far down the list would I have to go before I saw ‘Jon’ on the list?”
I wasn’t even on the list.
When the weight of that reality actually hit me, I cried.
Why, for all those years, did I neglect my body? Take it for granted?
That day I was asked that question began a new relationship with my body.
One built on Respect. Appreciation. Love.
And understanding that there is no “happily ever after”.
There is not a day coming where I no longer have to try, or care.
My relationship with my body is built on daily acts of self-care and self-love.
It takes work. The changes didn’t happen overnight. But, every day, doing something to show my appreciation. Nourish it with food, strengthen it with activity, give it time to rest.
There is no 21-day fix. There is no 30-day challenge.
There is no expiry date to this. I’m in this relationship for LIFE.
If your body could talk, and only speak the unfiltered truth, what are the stories it would tell?