Today I attended the Commencement ceremony at the university at which I work. It was a beautiful spring morning and I felt honored to be a witness to the conferring of degrees on all the graduates. It occurred to me, as I sat in the warm sun and felt full of hope for the graduates, that the very word, “commencement”, implies a new beginning, a going forth and starting new things. It’s not an ending. And we can’t go back and undo what’s been done. It’s a little like my recovery from Binge-Eating Disorder; recovery wasn’t a smooth, easy process. It was bumpy and full of setbacks. As much as I’d like to undo some things that happened during recovery, I can’t look back. I have to continue with that which commenced back in 2004 and be grateful for all that was and all that will be.
I wonder how we can apply the idea of “commencement” to our recovery from disordered eating and negative body image. What are we holding on to today and what do we need to let go of? Is today an opportunity for us to bear witness to the beginning of something new, be it a new mindset, a new mindful eating habit, or a new commitment to living in the present? What do graduates across the world have to teach us about letting go of the past and moving forward into whatever lies ahead?
Just some food for thought on this beautiful Commencement Day.
Peace, joy, and health to all graduates everywhere!