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Recovery blog

Grace and Kindness

By: Tiffany Phillips, MA, LMFT, Alumni Rep at The Renfrew Center of Nashville

Posted on September 26, 2016

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sand pile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.


I have always loved this poem, and it recirculates yearly as students prepare to return to school. Many of these nuggets of wisdom apply to recovery from an eating disorder. This poem is all about treating oneself and others kindly, living in balance, and continued intellectual curiosity. My hope is for all students in recovery this fall, while balancing learning some and thinking some each day, that you will also find time to sing, play and engage in acts of self-care. I hope you will listen to your body and rest when you are tired.

That you will not only wash your hands before you eat, but that you will truly eat a variety of foods that nourish your body. I hope you will watch out for possibilities of relapse (not just traffic) and that you will indeed stick close to your support during this time of transition. Please offer yourself grace if you engage in a disordered thinking or behaviors and treat yourself with the utmost respect and love.

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