I've been thinking a lot about these phrases I heard all the time when I was growing up: "good for you" and "bad for you". They were applied in all kinds of situations, but most notably to do with health, religion, and relationships.
My dad grew up with very little, so it was always drilled into us as kids that we should never waste food and should be grateful for the healthy food we get to eat. If there was a food we didn't like (in my case, fish), we were constantly told it was good for us and we should eat it anyway. It didn't matter if we liked it or not.
Now, I am struggling with gut health issues and found out this year that a whole bunch of foods that are "good for me" are actually causing me harm. For example, a food allergy test last summer revealed that I am actually allergic to broccoli, carrots, sunflower seeds, and olive oil! I've always enjoyed my veggies and needing to limit them so severely over the past few years is really hard. Turning the "good for you" saying into "not good for ME". It's hard for me to stick to food plans when I know all the nutrients I am missing out on in "good" foods. It's hard for me to turn off the black and white thinking that things that are good are not necessarily universally good, and it's ok if I don't partake in them.
Taking it a step further, even if a "good for you" thing isn't causing me harm, if it isn't actively creating joy or peace, I don't have to engage with it. For example, I've been taking a break from church for nearly a year now. The spiritual and religious abuse I've experienced has resulted in church feeling like a very unsafe place for me (even though it is "good for you") and I just can't be there right now. I've attended church since even before I was born, and it is a really big deal to stop attending, let alone volunteering in every program and ministry. But, just because it's good for other people doesn't mean it is good for me. And that needs to be ok. I'm working on it.
(***Please do not respond with prayers or Scriptures or religious messages as those are very triggering to me***)
The other side of this is completely avoiding things that are "bad for you". There is such a long, long list of things that I was taught were bad for me when I was growing up, and I still find it difficult to switch this off decades later. It's hard for me to spend money on myself. I judge myself for being attracted to someone based merely on external appearance. I don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable in a bar. All the time I spend sitting at home just breathing must surely be selfish, right? And yet - these things can all actually be good for me. They may not be good for everybody and there may be cautions around them, but they may not be bad for me. It's ok to explore and discover and be curious about people and the world around me. More than ok - it's good.
#goodforyou #Relationships #spiritualabuse #EmotionalAbuse #FoodAllergies #Family #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #PTSD