When someone develops an excess of body weight, most especially in the form of fat, it is always done to cope with a fear. When it comes to obesity, that fear is the fear of humiliation and shame. At the heart of every single case of obesity is this particular fear. It is not a fear of something unknown; rather it is a fear of something known. Usually early in life, those of us with obesity experienced extreme demands and expectations from others. We could not meet those expectations and demands and so we experienced high levels of shame and as a result of those experiences, we spent our time feeling humiliated. We built up a barrier of fat as a shield between ourselves and what we were afraid of… others. We built a shield to prevent the painful demands and expectations of others. It is a physical reflection of the intention to prevent ourselves from being taken advantage of.
It is crucial that any of us that are struggling with obesity take a long look at what was expected of us by other people early in life. It is also crucial that any of us that are struggling with obesity, acknowledge the deep fear of shame and humiliation that is resident within us. Many people, who are obese, were raised in environments that condemned selfishness. This is especially ironic because the caregivers of those who grow up to be obese often preach this selfless approach to the world whilst simultaneously, selfishly expecting children to conform to their needs and expectations. As a result, those children simultaneously feel taken advantage of and ashamed for feeling taken advantage of. They learn that relationships with others are painful and so, they wall themselves off to people. But here’s the catch; in their households, it is not acceptable to wall themselves off emotionally by being cold or mean. The only acceptable behavior is niceness. So they have only one option, to wall themselves off physically.
Because people with obesity so often grow up in environments where it is expected that their focus is on the needs and expectations of others, many of them are completely out of touch with their wants and true desires. Indeed many people, who struggle with obesity, still operate under the false assumption that they will achieve love and achieve their desires through “nice-ness” and through taking responsibility for other people’s burdens.
For most people who struggle with obesity, receiving is an idea that is tied in with selfishness. They assume that to receive from someone, means to take from them and thus, to be a mean person. As a result, they can’t receive. But because they only feel comfortable with giving and not receiving, there is no flow of energy from others into their life. On a deep level, they fear being “used up” by others. This causes a secondary effect to the “shielding” intention fueling obesity. This secondary effect is called the “storing” effect. In other words, those of us with obesity, not only feel the need to shield ourselves from negative energy, but also to store energy. Fat reflects both of these intentions.
Recovery from obesity cannot be about reducing fat. The fat is just a symptom of underlying fears, intentions and misunderstandings. Those underlying non-physical causes are at the heart of obesity. The shame and humiliation that is at the very core of obesity, is a calling to find self-love and self worth. It is a calling to get in touch with the self. It provides the contrast necessary to cause a person to discover what they truly need and truly want. There is not one person who struggles with obesity, that did not come down to this life with the intention of discovering their true, unique selves; and then learning to value themselves enough to become that unique expression of their true selves. Fat is not your enemy. It is your friend. It is a friend that does not serve your highest good anymore. The unhealthy fat that is associated with obesity is nothing more than a barrier between ourselves and life. And when there is no longer a need for this barrier, there is no longer a need for the fat and so, it will cease to exist.
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