Shades of gray

I ate too much last night…dumplings and flourless peanut butter cookies. This…after thirty-four perfect days! It’s so disappointing. I’ve done this before, of course. Often times, I’ve lied about it and just kept going – recording false numbers to submit at the end of the night. Beginning in early February of this year, though – I committed to doing it right and learning everything I can to get this right for a lifetime.

Part of that commitment includes the caveat that if I can’t do it perfectly, I will call the people at F.A.S.T. to let them know what’s going on. I won’t just gloss over the mistakes (read lie) and trudge forward without being accountable and making a course correction.

You’d think I’d have learned by now that lying to myself (or anyone else) is a bad idea that gets me nowhere. As with so many other situations, looking at life in terms that are too black and white can hurt you and those around you. Human behavior and the world we live in are made up of SO many shades of gray. Expecting perfection of anyone (even yourself) is unrealistic and will ultimately end in disappointment.

The response I got when I called was that I was still 97% perfect over the last thirty-five days. The message was that I’m still learning – to keep going, forgive myself, and not be discouraged. I’ve been told that before. I’m more open to hearing it now. I understand that I’m in training. That it’ll come. I’m confident that, regardless of last night, I’m going to get this right for good.

In the meantime, I’m learning to take it easy on myself and others. I’m aware that everyone has struggles – public or private – and they could use a kind word, an encouraging smile, and another chance to get it right.

Black and white thinking, judgment and prejudice are based in irrational fear and hate. They serve to make us less tolerant of everyone and give us a false sense of superiority. When we turn black and white thinking and judgment on ourselves it’s typically out of fear and regret. It’s equally as ugly and damaging to us as it is to anyone else.
What could we be thinking? Why does it make sense to do that to anyone, but, particularly to ourselves? I’m finding out that the bulk of this training has nothing to do with food. It has to do with the practice of forgiveness and appreciation for the varied and beautiful shades of gray…mine…and yours.

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