I had a very powerful group on Wednesday night with four wonderfully curious women. I felt the power of their questioning. We asked ourselves:
Do I want to be here, on this planet?
This is a really big question. Especially when you sometimes behave in ways that actively make your existence on this planet more uncomfortable.
Do I want to live comfortably? Do I want my body to feel comfortable? Do I want my mind to feel comfortable?
And if the answer is yes – then how can I change? How can I let go of something that has been alongside me for such a long time? I don’t even remember who I was before I started using food in this way.
Who would I be, without my struggle with eating?
Do I need this struggle to exist?
This struggle appears to be such a heavy, burdensome companion. Overeating hurts my body. It makes me feel physically unwell. It distances me from my natural cues of hunger and fullness. The shame of it prevents me from connecting with others. It feels like a blot on my character.
But this struggle is the seat of my compassion. It has brought be into contact with people I never would have met otherwise. We have no expectations of each other, except honesty, and kindness. We bring our humanity, our imperfections, our sorrow and frustration, and it is all welcome. It brings a richness to my life, a depth of emotion, an intensity that I crave. It is deep connection that I find here, amidst my struggles to eat.
I asked myself – could I drop the struggle? Could I keep all the good stuff – connection, sharing, compassion – and drop the struggle?
I drew a picture – a woman, dropping a heavy bag from each hand. A bag labelled “struggle”. And I wrote, all around her:
I just eat what I need.
I forget the rest.
I ask – what do I need?
I then look for it.
I am patient and kind.
I am curious and inquisitive.
I enjoy myself.
I share my knowledge with others.
I help when I can.
I tell the truth.
I choose to be present.
I own my mistakes.
I value what’s important: love, health, peace.
I ask you:
Who would you be without your struggle with eating?
Do you need this struggle to exist?
Could you drop the struggle?