The Lesson of the Rose and the Garbage


To become truly free of negative eating habits and patterns, you need to learn to love all of you.

Even the part that always wants potato chips the moment the kids are in bed.

Even the part that is incapable of saying no to the donuts in the office lunchroom.

Even the part that goes up for seconds of that amazing homemade lasagna when you know you’re already so full you feel sick.

Until you can see – and embrace – those parts of you, you will struggle with breaking those patterns and habits.


Because every part of you is connected.

Your choices and actions around food are not a problem that you need to wrestle to the ground. They are not a weakness or a character flaw that you need to either avoid or cut out of you.

They ARE you.

You are ONE.

Just like the rose and the garbage.

The beautiful rose with its stunning colour and delicate scent eventually withers and dies and becomes garbage.

The garbage eventually decomposes and becomes the fertilizer that becomes the rose.

They are ONE.

And when we fail to see the garbage in the rose or the rose in the garbage, we can’t truly and fully appreciate either.

You are the aspects of you that make you feel wonderful, and you are the aspects of you that you wish would change.

Be okay with that.

At each moment your different aspects are shifting and morphing – some days one is stronger than the other and the next day that may flip – but they all deserve your love and compassion.


Because, when you are directing your energy towards pitting one part of yourself against another, you have no energy left to expand as a whole.

Remember the Chinese finger trap?

It’s a flexible tube made out of woven bamboo. You stick one finger in each end and the more you pull them apart, the tighter the tube grabs onto your fingers.

It’s only when you finally recognize this, relax your muscles and move your fingers towards one another inside the trap that it loosens and you can be free.

It’s counter-intuitive because our instinct when we feel trapped is to try to pull away, but what the Chinese finger trap teaches is that sometimes to become free you need to embrace that which you believe is trapping you.

The same is true with our complex relationship with food.

The more you fight against the parts of you that you wish to change, the harder it becomes to actually change.

Loving all of you doesn’t mean that you don’t actively work on changing certain habits and patterns that aren’t serving you. It means that you see the truth of all of your different, complex, colourful, wonderful pieces without judging them or blaming yourself or being angry that they exist.

Loving all of you means that you see the inter-connectedness of all of your aspects – the rose and the garbage – and you are thankful for all of them.

From that place is where real, long-term shifting can occur.


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Sara Best

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