I’ve been wondering for two weeks what to talk about next in this blog. Then, suddenly this week, I’m surrounded by people and situations that relate to the topic of taking control, losing control, gaining control, etc. CONTROL seems to be the operative word here.
For example, yesterday someone was telling me that she doesn’t struggle with disordered eating because she has control over it. Then this morning I found myself squeezing, pinching, grabbing fleshy parts of my body — all the parts I have drowned in negative attention in years past. I noticed myself thinking things like, “I just need to take control of myself and stop eating such-and-such” and “I may have lost control for a bit, but now I’ll be better”. When I snapped back to the present moment and kicked my inner critic out of my head, I was discouraged at first. “Haven’t I overcome all this? Maybe I should be more diligent about controlling my inner critic.” Ha. There’s that word again.
I haven’t really sorted through all my thoughts on this topic, but I’m pretty convinced that disordered eating is NOT about lack of control or willpower. Instead, the perceived loss of control and need for control speaks more to the underlying emotional and spiritual chaos we feel (and don’t want to feel). We overeat and feel out of control and then try to control what we eat, hoping that our emotional and spiritual needs will be satisfied in the process. But emotional and spiritual needs require emotional and spiritual nurturing.
I’ll refer you back to my recent post called “Letting Go for the Holidays“. Some of the ideas presented there are a good way to start nurturing our emotional and spiritual selves. I know I have some work to do this week. But I now recognize that it’s not about control. It’s about acceptance and love and nurture.
Peace, joy, and health.