I remember the years that I believed that once I “handled” my relationship with food, I’d be done.
I wouldn’t have to think about it again.
And I remember the years that I believed that once I had a glimpse of what many teachers call my
“true nature,” I’d be forever awakened.
I also remember that I believed that once the cancer was removed from my breast, I’d be saved. Healthy.
Here’s what I know now: Food will always be a doorway for me. It’s like having an immediate signal to
pay attention. When I am sad or confused or tired—feeling any number of feelings from being in earth
school—food will often pop into my mind, seem like a good idea. And most people would say, “So
what. You just ate a spoonful of almond butter. That’s not exactly a binge.” True. Not a binge but not
the truth either. Not turning toward myself, inviting the sadness or confusion or tiredness. How will I
be my own best love if I keep turning away from what wants to be loved? Wanting to eat when I am
feeling sadness is the exact definition of turning away, of abandoning myself. It’s not about the food.
It’s about where love is. Where kindness is.
There is no “one and done.” With eating, waking up, cancer. That’s a myth that keeps people hooked
on feeling bad about themselves. I’ve fallen for it for years and every time, I lose myself in the promise
that if only I could fix what the mind tells me is wrong, I’d be fixed. We’re not done until we stop
breathing (and who knows what happens then?) What else are we going to do but learn how to be
kind to ourselves and how to welcome what we would rather reject. That welcoming is what is called
practice. And for practice, effort has to be made. Every day. Seriously? Every day? Yes. What better
way to spend your time than walking out of prison…
A or B: Fall for the myth. Believe you need to be done now. Take the quickest route offered.
Notice when you are caught. (Wanting to eat when you’re not hungry or feeling shame or like you’re
never going to get “it” are all waving flags). Time to turn toward what wants love. Don’t leave yourself
when you are most needed.
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