Over the course of 20 days, this yogi, with a history of eating and body image disorder, has vowed to clean up her chaotic eating from a place of compassion and non-judgment and blog about it in hopes that it starts a conversation for others who also experience food to be a dual path of crazy and healing.
Day 4: Exposed
How it all began: Battle & Discovery.
Day One: Battle & Discovery, Day 1
Day Two: Battle & Discovery, Day 2
Day Three: Keeping it Real, Day 3
The first night I wrote my blog, I dreamed I was on Oprah, sitting across from her in a comfy chair. She told me how valuable my words were. She told me how much she admired me.
I had magically lost 10 pounds for the interview. I was dressed in expensive jeans and my make up was professionally applied. My long brown hair had been blown out and curled. I think there was even a little bit of wind blowing my locks gently back. Oh, and I wore a fabulous pair of brown leather boots (which I don’t actually own.)
All eyes were upon me.
I woke up the next morning and chuckled at my own inflated sense of self, but I also knew deep-down there was some needy part of me who really believed this could happen.
Some of my running partners, all women, talk about longing to be seen. Those of us who use food to express the deep currents of our feelings have had a un-fillable need to be seen, wanted, and loved.
Those of us whom have carried significant amounts of extra weight (at one time I weighed 100 pounds more) have felt like ghosts. Invisible and unknown. A fragment of ourselves.
I expose my deepest darkest and most private self to say that I am not a ghost and I am not alone with wanting to be seen.
But wanting to be seen is looking for love from others. In the end, a disappointing and often unrealistic path. If validation of my wholeness needs to come from an external source and not from within, I will always feels like I am about to slide into something dark and slimy.
Society says its weak to need something from somebody else to feel validated. Society says it’s shameful to want more.
Yet more is everywhere we turn.
I am looking to be a goddess but all I see are goddesses outside of myself and I long to be her. At times, I want what I think she has more of than me. More fame, more happiness, a thinner body (cause thin will get you validated) and more love from others.
This is what I think I need to fill my hole.
But the problem is these things I want more of are not what caused the hole to begin with.
So, as I continue to not-dampen my wants and desires with foods, I composed the following letter to myself.
The work is not to change who you are. You are perfect as is. The work is not to work on detachment from your need to be externally validated. It is OK to want and need from others.
The real work is to notice what happens when you get the things you want. Look at the things you have already gotten-life partner, kids, home, yoga studio, friends, etc. and notice the pain, dissatisfaction, bliss, mundaneness, and full range of feelings that have come from getting what you wanted.
Look at the parts of you that have already gotten what you wanted and integrate them.
Acknowledge the fragmented parts of you that are already there. Put the pieces together and breathe some life into your own inner goddess instead of desiring all the intoxicating goddesses that exist outside of you.
It’s not about what you want but about who you are. Trust that the truth of who you are won’t destroy you. Let yourself feel what you have spent your whole life trying not to feel. It is OK to feel needy and terrified. It is OK to feel beautiful and radiant and completely alive. It is OK to feel the parts of us we have shut away from ourselves.
Trust that you are not alone. Trust your darkness and your light. Leave no part of yourself unturned by your love.
Like the mindful life on Facebook.
Ed: Sara Crolick
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 602 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 13 shares Learn Social Media, Writing, Editing & Journalism Ethics with elephantjournal.com. 1 share The Real Reason so many Long-term Relationships Fail Sexually. 994 shares Trevor Noah just won my Respect. 2,570 shares Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 994 shares Why a Year of No Dating was the Best Thing I ever did for Myself. 7,670 shares These Tweets (and Retweets) actually Happened. 1,391 share How to Say Goodbye to that almost-great Love. 1,671 share