Categories: Buddhism, Journal, Spirit
My OA sponsor wrote and asked me how I’m doing, and am I tracking my food intake as I’d intended. I wrote her back, but I’m putting it “out there” as well.
I began tracking my food after we met using an app on my phone. Then I stopped when I realized it required entering meals right away — there’s no way to go back and do it later. I understand why — to induce awareness. So in short, no.
And then, on Monday, I went to Target in the evening to get toothpaste and hair ties. When I set foot in the store, I KNEW I was going to buy some Easter candy. I was keenly aware of this part of myself, and the aware part of myself was saying, “Really? Come on! Let’s not.” But the primal part carried out the acquisition. I sat in the car, eating two Reeses’ eggs and a 5 oz. chocolate bunny. And none of it even TASTED good. There was no enjoyment. There was just the impulse to finish. I didn’t reach out to you or Hub. I didn’t tell Hub. I threw away the trash. Note to self: maybe it would be good to avoid Target at night, though it didn’t used to be a problem. Then again, there’s more to this — it’s not just about Target.
So I was meeting with my friend Sofia (who is a spiritual facilitator) Tuesday and explored this. Here’s what I noticed: I go through life unconsciously with tight stomach muscles, as if I’m holding myself together. When I realize this and relax, I feel the expansion and pressure on my clothing. It feels a little bit freeing, and also out of control. So I’ve just practiced noticing and relaxing, being curious over how it feels to be “all out there.” Because the deeper wisdom in me sees that being obese is a form of protection. I am afraid of my power. I have the power, and it takes about 50 extra pounds to quell it.
Right now I’m not prodding myself with “why?” Why? What am I afraid of? Hell, as if knowing in my mind I could transform and fix it. Instead, I’m meeting that part of myself. Instead of power struggle, it feels like an invitation. “I see that you’re afraid. May I just keep you company?” And if Primal Me wants to eat something that Wisdom realizes my body doesn’t need, then Wisdom is connecting with Primal Me where she’s at. Wisdom isn’t completely silent. She says, “I see you’re pouring a bowl of Raisin Bran and adding walnuts. Are you hungry?” Primal Me says, “I just WANT it. And I WILL HAVE IT.” Wisdom says, “Okay, you take care of yourself. I’m here if you want or need me.”
On one hand this looks like a recipe (hah!) for condoning destructive behavior. But it FEELS different. There’s a very young part of me — Primal Me — that has urges, needs, wants, and doesn’t know how to get them met except by consuming. I’ve judged her, deprived her of love and attention, for decades. Gaining her trust and helping her heal will probably take more time than my ego would like. But Wisdom knows that’s how true healing occurs. And in fact, I have been healing for the past couple of years. It started with Honesty Salons, and Ecstatic Dance. In the past year I’ve lived increasingly through intuition, working with Sofia. Then I took the SoulCollage® facilitator training, and committed to a spiritual community at the Los Gatos UU Fellowship. I’m in therapy (since December), and have met you.
So it’s happening. And yes, I would like to weigh less and move more, with power and strength. My body hurts. I worry how the weight compromises my abilities and health; I worry about the message I’m giving my daughter. But apparently Ego can’t force this. It’s a process beyond “me” and yet I’m part of it. Does this make sense?
I am one who is small and frightened, who needs protection. I am one who wanted protection. I am one who wants an all-present Mother, who wants tenderness.