One of the most deeply ingrained habits that I’m trying to change right now is my tendency to categorize things as good or bad. Kale is good, sugar is bad, or joy is good, anger is bad, or my favorite, my injury-prone side is bad, my not injury-prone side is good. I’ve been making these kinds of judgments for as long as I can remember, I bet that most of us have. I just accepted these kinds of thoughts as facts and didn’t really examine them further.
It was actually in my first oncology massage class that I started to question this. I think that every oncology massage instructor who is awake will at some point tell students to never refer to a client’s compromised side as the “bad” side. The sides are treated and untreated (assuming this even applies). That was straightforward and easy to accept. Don’t call part of a client’s body bad.
But what about my own body? Do I have a “bad” side? My left biceps femoris is weaker than my right, so is it bad? I’ve certainly referred to it that way in the past. It’s not bad to have a weaker side though, it’s a consequence of going through life. It’s something that I am working to change, but I’m not going to refer to parts of my body as “bad” until I somehow achieve perfect balance. I’m going to try to re-frame that for my clients too. Maybe you have a weaker side, a less-flexible side, a side that hurts more; and that’s what we’ll call it.
I think that the same can be said for food: some are (much) more nutrient-dense than others. I’m working to cut way down on my sugar intake, but I’m doing it because my other health issues seem to decrease when I do that. Not because I have judged sugar and determined it is bad. What about our emotions? What happens when I judge that some of my emotions are bad? Will I still let myself experience them fully? Because that doesn’t seem to be how I roll. I don’t want to get too deep into either of these topics because I am neither a nutritionist nor a mental health professional. I’m just someone trying to live the fullest life that I possibly can.
I think that the more I am able to let go of this instinct for categorizing everything in these terms, the kinder it will make me. Towards myself and the people around me. Is anyone else out there trying something similar? I know of various people who have inspired me with their blog posts about this. It’s still kind new to me. So much of this is, really. Which is such an exciting place to be at!