In my work with many, many people with concerns about their diet and their relationship with food over the past 15 years, from ages 14 to 80, a wonderful awareness comes forward when people realize that controlling themselves vs having zero control is a core human painful experience.
Those of us with painful experiences of eating or not-eating are not alone in feeling out of control and then in control.
I call it the Dictator–Chaos Bouncy House. If you’ve ever been in an obvious addictive pattern of using something, like food, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling….then you’re really familiar with it.
It goes like this: “I am NOT going to let this situation scare me, this person bug me, this experience make me fail”. The body is tight, fists clenched, thinking is directed. Our mind says things like I-will-never, I-will-always, how-dare-you, never-look-back…” This is the Dictator stance.
Then, we want to get away from the Dictator (understandably….have you ever been in a concentration camp?). We want to feel free, alive, I-can-do-whatever-I-want, live-today-for- tomorrow- I-could-die, who cares what happens! The diet can go to hell! All hell breaks loose! Chaos! Wildness! Freedom! Insobriety!
The core beliefs are shouting and very painful “I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!!!!”
This life, this situation, this existence. Even if you have no substantive addictive cycle in your life, the mind loves to think that there is a Problem here. It loves to solve problems. It loves to divide and conquer and analyze and come up with a Plan.
In our Horrible Food Wonderful Food teleclass today, one wonderful participant spoke of the vast, empty feeling she had when entering her home after a day of being out. Another two thought about entering the house at the end of the day thinking about all that needed to be done….too much.
I remember in the past, if I had an entire evening to myself and I felt even a tiny bit self-critical about something undone in my life, I might choose to enter Chaos instead of staying with the dark emptiness.
Drink, eat, smoke, shop, video, phone, chat, read, computer, gossip, dream…fill it up. Forget about that Nothingness thing or The List of to-do’s.
If I don’t get away from that feeling of emptiness, or fear, overwhelm or anger….that would be terrible. Devastating, too terrifying. So painful, stressful. Nooooooooo!
But then what happens if I don’t HAVE to do something about this empty moment full of loneliness or fear? Am I SURE that there is no one else, nothing else in existence out there (in here?) Am I sure there is no happiness, no sensation of peace possible? Am I sure it is all darkness, hopeless, impossible? Is it true that this is BAD?
“The Master doesn’t try to be powerful, thus he is truly powerful. The ordinary man keeps reaching for power, thus he never has enough. The Master does nothing, yet he leaves nothing undone. The ordinary man is always doing things, yet many more are left to be done. The kind man does something, yet something remains undone. The just man does something, and leaves many things to be done. The moral man does something, and when no one responds he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.
When the Tao is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos. Therefore the Master concerns himself with the depths and not the surface, with the fruit and not the flower. He has no will of his own. He dwells in reality, and lets all illusions go.~Tao te Ching #38
Here I am in this moment with my empty house and free time, and the Thought Factory offering suggestions for what I could do with this moment.
Can I have a real look at reality, right here even in THIS moment, and not attempt to assert my own will? Is love present here?…..joy?….silence?….no illusions? I need to do something, I need to feel something different from what is here right now, I am not safe….is it true?
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