How Are You Spending Your 'Dash'?

July 18, 2014 8:25 PM

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I remember many years ago, I was treating a 14-year-old girl who was struggling with an eating disorder and depression. In one particular session, we were talking about her hopes, fears, and regrets. (You know, those light, small-talky topics we psychotherapists tend to bring up!) This young girl told me she was afraid that if she kept going the way she was -- starving herself and hating her body -- that when she died someday, her tombstone would say, "Here lies Jane. She spent her life trying to lose weight." Having spent the prior decades of my own life lost in food and weight obsession, I related only too well to her fear of wasting precious time worrying about what she eats and how much she weighs.

Not long after that session, I read a poem to this young girl, entitled "The Dash." If you haven't yet read this insightful poem, it basically highlights the fact that when we die, our tombstone will have the date of our birth and the date of our death. And in between those two dates is a simple das...

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