Here we continue the wonderful two-part Nourishing the Soul interview regarding my work in eating disorders mentoring. Special thanks to the blog publisher, Ashley Solomon, PsyD, for such a great resource!
Welcome back for Part II of this inspirational interview with author, advocate, and musician, Shannon Cutts. In Part I, Shannon shared how relationships replace eating disorders. In today’s post, she shares some of the lessons she has taken away from being both a mentee and mentor, as well as how to navigate the difficult but rewarding world of helping someone in recovery. You can also take a moment to watch Shannon in action spreading her message of hope through words and song.
NTS: What have you learned from your own mentor?
SC: She reached out to me and offered me her support, and that is why I am the person I am today. She would set down ground rules – but all of these rules were very life-affirming and loving towards ME, not the eating disorder. Over time, with that consistent support and love from her, and reassurance that YES, I could achieve my goal to not choose my eating disorder over my life anymore, and that YES, I was worth fighting and recovering for, I chose my relationship with her over my relationship with the eating disorder.
My current mentor, Lynn, has supported me for nearly a decade now, and also serves as Vice Chair on MentorCONNECT’s board. I always joke that she probably had no idea what she was getting into when she accepted me as a mentee! Because of my mentors, most especially Lynn, I have absolute faith that I can become a better me.
I know I can slowly but surely transform into the me I have always dreamed of being. I have faith in humanity and in love, and in the givingness of others – and my own ability to give and to love as well. And I know that what I do and who I am are not the same – today, through my mentor Lynn’s guidance and support, I can even get angry at my actions and still unconditionally love who I am. That, to me, is a bona fide miracle.
If everyone who joins MentorCONNECT has the opportunity to meet a Lynn, then that will be my dreams for the community fulfilled.
NTS: What have you learned from being a mentor and from your mentees?