The Benefits of Eye-Rolling

I once saw two skinny joggers (alas, wearing totally different outfits from skinny-dippers) standing around cooling off together, talking. One held up a finger, like ‘one second, please, sorry, I just have to stretch,’ and faced the offending muscle, eyes closed in inward concentration.

What welled up?
Acute distaste for the whole scene.

Same week, in the grocery store: I pass an aisle and see someone meticulously reading a nutrition label… the same person, reading the same label, in the same aisle I’d left them in before grabbing my chips.

My eyes rolled.
‘Glad I don’t have to do THAT.’


Back in the day, before I recognized my own physical needs and allergies, I accepted –even flaunted– that I just was the grumpy, eye-rolling type. It was normal to actively pity people whose bodies apparently ran the show.

I had no clue that the grump was mine, not caused by them. I had no clue grump was FROM ignoring my pain. And I had absolutely NO intention to change my ‘lifestyle.’

I was who I was.
My body was fine.

Assuming I’d grow out of the pimples. Assuming malnourishment is a desirable ‘look.’ Assuming my arthritis wasn’t real, because arthritis is for old folks, right? (Do you know how much flack I’d get if I’d dared try to get Grandmother to believe I had arthritis, too?! “Nonsense: show some respect! You’re fine.”)

I didn’t like, admire, or see the point of self-care, so I took my body for granted.

Assuming one is fine is not the same as actually feeling fine.

And She Lived Happily Ever After

I still have a hard time with so-called self-care “rituals” (especially in pandemic time – I mean: it’s not like Zoom broadcasts body odor… so…?!) but I’ve gotten a lot better at self-love since I’ve experienced the major, major benefits over lying to myself… e.g.

  • Who knew that admitting to irritability could make me more able to do stuff about it, instead of feel too overwhelmed to? I’d unconsciously assumed admission was fault.
  • Who knew that honesty would make me more confident, instead of more insecure? I’d somehow expected the opposite.
  • Who knew that selecting my pasta with care (read: tweaking a few habits) could make me less grumpy (read: less pain — less denial of pain) and easier to get along with?

There’s a correlation between honesty, confidence, grump-level, and …’retention rates.’

Conclusion: Eye-Rolling Has Good Reasons

I’m not a dietician AT ALL – None of that here!

I’m just saying: I’ve gotten a lot of helpful information from noticing when my eyes roll, and kindly asking that aspect of myself to report whether I’m actually fine: what am I trying so hard to not look at, to hide – from myself?

Any eye-rolls coming to mind? Maybe something you detest springs to mind?
What might your eye-roll have been hiding?

Please share in the comments, or email me directly – I’m curious!

(My eyes stopped rolling at honesty 15 years ago.)

You have your own wisdom.
It just takes sorting out.

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