The Metaphors Behind the Foods We Choose

It’s been three weeks since I’ve felt even remotely inspired to write in here. But this morning I have some time to myself and thought I’d remind myself what it’s like to write a blog post. One of my (five) cats, Galadriel, a fat brown and black striped tabby, is curled up on the mousepad next to me as I type. She looks about as energetic as I feel. Never-the-less, her presence is soothing.

I’ve been thinking about self-soothing this week and how I still use food at times to feel better. I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I try not to think in black and white terms anymore). There are some times when savoring a favorite treat or hot drink is just really comforting and there’s nothing wrong with that. This week I’ve become aware of the fact that every day at work, I crave something cloyingly sweet to drink or eat. I have allowed myself to indulge (and savor and enjoy) such a treat each day and I can honestly say I don’t feel bad about it. But today I wonder about the metaphor behind the food.

Anita Johnston, PhD wrote a great book called “Eating in the Light of the Moon”, which touches on the meanings behind the foods we choose. It seems natural that I would crave cloyingly sweet foods at work because I counsel teens addicted to drugs and alcohol—their lives are full of bitterness, resentment, and rage. It’s as if my spirit takes in that bitterness and wants to counter it with sweetness.

Of course, you’ve heard me say that feeding your physical body when it’s your spirit that’s hungry won’t make the spiritual hunger go away. I know that. But for now, I’m okay with feeding both. I hope to stay mindful of my food choices and explore their meanings in the weeks to come.

What are your food choices saying about you and your needs?

Peace, joy, and health.

–Megan

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