Two years ago, I wrote a post called “Endings“, in which I talked about the difficulty of saying goodbye to my clients who are graduating or moving on. Well, another school year is drawing to a close and I am again faced with endings and goodbyes. I find it hard to let go. I’ve learned to do so, but it’s never easy. I won’t have a chance to follow up on my clients once they leave college. All I can do is thank them for the honor of working with them, offer up a silent prayer for their continued well-being, and let go. When I do this, I’m often left with an empty feeling. It is that emptiness that the voice of my eating disorder (“Ed”) has pounced on in years past.
When I’m feeling empty, emotionally vulnerable, or physically and mentally drained, Ed says things like, “You know you’ll feel better if you eat cake. Just go out and buy a whole bunch of junk food and eat it until you’re numb. Numbness is better than pain, right?” Sometimes, I give in to that voice and eat when I’m not physically hungry, just to numb out. But I’ve gotten better in the past five years at filling that void with spirit-food. For example, reviewing my collection of cards and notes from friends and loved ones can make me feel special and loved. Or, lighting a candle for my clients can be a symbolic reminder of the light within each of us. Or, simply acknowledging my sadness and allowing myself to cry can help.
How are you filling the void in your life? Are you filling it with physical food, as Ed will have us do? Or are you tending to your emotional and spiritual needs, which lie under the surface, waiting to be discovered and nurtured?
May each of us find peace as we seek to fill that void within.
Peace, joy, and health,