Swimming Back and Forth

I’m floating on my back in the clear warm aqua blue water. The sun is already hot and it’s not even 10 am. I’m alone in the pool. My husband, lying on the tan and white striped chase lounge by the Jacuzzi is the only other person in this area of the lodge. I am at peace.

The azure sky above me looks like an abstract painting. The blue of the heavens are pierced with the brilliance of the sun, and a white billowy streak of smoke from a jet is placed just below the sun’s radiance, perfect placement on the blue canvas of the sky.

The water below me covers my ears allowing for a sense of womblike contentment as my body is rocked lovingly by the pools amniotic fluid. My daughter and her husband walk over, smiling, waving. I can’t hear what she’s saying. I swim to the pools edge and hear that they are going to a restaurant for breakfast.

We have already decided that we’re not hungry yet. We want to hang out at the pool, linger in the sun. They tell us they’ll meet back up with us after they eat.

I roll to my side; I begin the side stroke, swimming the length of the pool. I’m in the shade in the deep end; I enter the spot light of the sun as I swim toward the stairs. Back and forth I swim as my mind goes back and forth trying to make a decision.

Do I want to cut my swimming short and join my daughter and son-in-law for breakfast? I get so much joy in their company. This has been a special weekend with them at this lodge. It would be a nice ending to our time together.

Would I rather stay in this soothing warm liquid of contentment? Back and forth I swim.

If my husband calls them, they could get a table for four. We could get there before they’re done. I could come back and swim some more after breakfast, but my stomach might be too full to swim comfortably.

Maybe they want to be by themselves, but we had invited them to breakfast last night. I’m not sure. I check in with my husband. He is content on the chaise lounge and is not hungry yet. That reminds me, I’m not hungry yet either. My mind is made up. I will continue this luxurious commune with the water.

After almost 12 years of recovery from compulsive overeating, I still want to fill my plate to the rim with good things. Sometimes self-love requires that I make choices between two equally wonderful things. Just as I cannot always comfortably eat all the food served to me at a restaurant, I also cannot always comfortably engage in all the possibilities life serves me. I have to make loving decisions for myself.

I flip over and let the water hold me, rocking me back in forth in its warm embrace. I will treasure this morning and replay it over and over like a favorite movie.

This is one example of self-love.

Self-Love Question:

Tell me about a time when you had a choice to make, and allowed yourself to ponder your choice until you made the right one for you.

Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. She created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Michelle is finishing her book, Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works, and her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the Self-Love Movement!

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