As my body made its daily contribution to the world today, It occurred to me that, although I regularly produce this stuff from inside my body which is essential to my well-being and survival, if anyone were to see it, I’d feel quite ashamed. I never talk about it, and most of the time I pretend that it doesn’t exist. My reaction to it, and the reaction of almost anyone else who might see it, is generally one of revulsion, maybe mixed with embarrassment or amusement.
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I’m talking about my poo. And I’m wondering if my negative feelings about it might in some way be reflecting – or influencing – the way I feel about my deeper self! If I believe that something my body creates as an unavoidable part of my existence is disgusting, might this reveal how I actually think about myself underneath my masks and excuses. And does this have some link to the tragic idea of ‘original sin’ which suggests that my basic desires, feelings and needs are somehow soiled and need to be cleansed for me to be worthy of approval or acceptance
Creating poo is not something we have much control over. I’m never quite sure what will appear, but I decided to try and love this part of my life, in the hope that this might also help me to accept and embrace my true self. As a first step, I’ve had to understand that my response to it is conditioned, rather than something innate. Maybe it’s the result of my mother reacted if, at an early age, I put it in the wrong place at the wrong time! In any case, I’ve found that changing my instinctive reaction of finding it revolting is difficult, but by no means impossible. The smell isn’t easy to find appealing, but it’s surprising the extent to which we can reprogram our brains to perceive things in a different way, and I’m making progress with convincing myself that my poo’s colour and texture is something unique and interesting, and worthy of appreciation
I previously had this experience with animal poo when I worked on an organic farm. I came to see our cows’ excrement as precious, because mixing it with soil was essential to growing healthy vegetables. I even began to enjoy its smell, sight and texture, and felt happy and productive, as well as tied into a deep natural cycle, when I was shovelling and spreading it
I’m hoping I can learn to perceive my own food waste in a similarly positive way. I’m making slow progress with that, but I already feel that changing how I regard this essential part of my life is improving my self-esteem. Rather than dividing myself into ‘nice’ and ‘bad’ parts, I’m becoming more accepting of the reality that every part of me is equally essential to who I am, and all worthy of celebration, because if any part was missing, I wouldn’t exist. It’s a good feeling!