You Can't Weigh Zero

I remember a high school teacher snorting about the weight loss movement for girls. He said "why do women always want to lose weight... you can't weigh zero!"


It's one of those things that has stuck in my mind. It has so many implications--but one I want to bring out here is emotional.


I often see people advertising personal development that promises to eradicate things like shame, anxiety, fear, or scarcity. I see these people succeed and can only draw the conclusion that this is an idea that sells.


Get rid of that inconvenient bit! Stop experiencing that thing.


Of course, it's true that discomfort is a powerful selling point.


And the thing that ends up happening out of it is incredibly valuable--we learn to tune our experience of each moment, to free ourselves from the bulk of our reactivity to any emotional experience--


but we can't weigh zero.


These experiences are part of us the way limbs are part of us. We feel them, however small they get, and even when they're gone.


The problem with the idea of eradication is that no emotional experience will ever weigh zero. It will never go away completely, and thinking that it might or that it should is the final frontier of self-alienation. Believing a feeling should go away fuels the dying breaths of the hold that experience has on us, its ability to spur us into reactivity, internally or externally.


The new understanding available says we welcome the presence of each emotional experience as a sign of business-as-usual, undoing the program that these parts must be eradicated, that they're flawed or problematic.


We can each come to see ourselves and our wholeness as a complete truth. Understanding that an emotional experience like shame is part of the wholeness means we can finally FULLY and truly welcome shame, to fully release the hold the experience of shame has on us.


Instead of seeing shame and thinking "oh no, I fucked up again, I'm not supposed to be feeling that, i need a practice or some breathwork or something..." we can see shame and say "oh hey there, thanks for the reminder to check the moon phase, shall we cozy up for this tearful conversation?"


This is the layer of fine-tuning of self-gentleness available to each of us. Seeing ourselves wholly and truly, dropping away external value systems, impossible, imbalanced "standards of perfection," and determining what goodness, rightness, and integrity looks like by measuring self.


Your system has an ideal balance of emotional experiences--but it will never weigh zero.

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