All emotional eating and restriction is about disconnection – from feeling too much, from remembering, from a present we didn’t plan for, from a past that’s too much to grieve, and a future that we don’t quite yet have the strength to walk into.
At the same time, disconnection and dissociation as a form of managing the too-much-ness or not-enough-ness of the present moment is an incredibly intelligent function.
But what makes something too much? It’s all about the balance between energy and space.
Any energy, given the space and structure it needs, will get digested, metabolized and transformed. Any emotional, mental or physical tension will peak and come to settle, given space.
The people I work with suffer more from the not-enough-ness of space and structure, and a disconnection from supportive reality, than the too-much-ness of feeling or experience.
In a world where you not just know, but also feel your belonging with every blade of grass, the roots of the aspen trees under your feet, the morning caress of the sun and the goodnight kiss of the moon, where the ocean waves hug you, and the birds drop feathers so you can make your own wings, and the rose blooms in your heart as much as it does in your back yard, and the wild rose calls you to visit it every June in the fields, there is more than enough space to be with all your experiences and all your parts.
Where the tears on your cheeks are no different from the dew on the dandelion, you can let yourself cry, and a smile will come, and maybe you’ll even see the dandelion reach and put a hand on your stomach.
Perhaps the more we fill our bodies with online and human made spaces, and the grasping and desires that promise a temporary reprieve from pain, and the more we absense ourselves from our true pure belonging with nature, the more we will feel like we can’t handle what’s here.
The more we’ll turn away from our own pain, from the picture of an Afghan baby held by a soldier, and the more we will want to disconnect and dissociate, numb and vacate.
Yet what we do is not an escape, it’s not something to be ashamed of, it’s what happens when we can’t feel the connection to a reality much bigger than anything we can know with our mind.
A reality of belonging that asks for our feeling awareness, our wakefulness and our participation.
Sit on the wet morning ground, stand on the wild shore, bury your hands in the living soil, let the sun warm your tired heart, reconnect, remember, and know you are held by more than enough.
Image: Chris Larson
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