Peace & Love,
Peace & Love,
Peace & Love,
Broken history, whether that’s our story, personal and collective..
Once there has been a life shaping interruption that caused us to come off-course, for mere survival, at some point, for mere survival again, we going to need to get back on track and proceed in our stories, nevertheless..
Making them pleasing, healing and restorative. And we don’t give others the pen, as they don’t know our stories, and record them, like we do.
I look forward to the day where in the collective, young minds will be told stories, through the subject of History, that is not broken and loaded with untruths, so they may truly know themselves, in the personal & collective,
Live their Best Life Experience Possible…and not be twice defeated, in someone else’s personal unhealed collective discriminative narrative.
Peace & Love,
Back to love Interview with DJ Stamina on his Saturday Mornings Chat Show…
Sounds True Conversations..
Peace & Love,
Peace & Love,
Peace & Love,
This is the kind of listening black folks need, as well as any solution truly interested in healing racial divide..
I shared the following piece today (slightly more filled out here) in a safe private space I am a part of. I just thought I would share here too, as this blog site has come into being for this very purpose. Also, this piece further fleshes out my poem ‘Sweet’ posted here a few days ago. So, from my HeartSoul to yours, here we go…
Hi. Just to share…I am a counsellor. I’ve been a counsellor since 1991. I consider myself what has been coined a “wounded healer.” My own recovery Journey began in 1987, and I’ve been recovering- though to my mind more “discovering” and “unfolding,” ever since. I decided to become a Counsellor in 1987 when I experienced myself the benefits of counselling at that life changing time.
Anyway, that is just a background to what I want to share. So, over the past week I have been sharing here my ongoing struggle of relaxing, resting, and just simply being, over “doing” as those things are (still) very much needed in my life, especially at this time. I need more rest and relaxation because I “give out” a lot by nature, as well as in my work as a Counsellor, which I consider to be “Life’s work,” and do enjoy.
Over the last 3 days I have managed to pin down that this is a core issue for me, for good reason, and though I have made great headways over the years, there still is the fear of letting go of a certain control and the whole of what I consider hell to be breaking through and driving me crazy. There is a fear of allowing myself to let go and trust that all will be well- as I know, as adult, from past recovered experience, that when I have finally allowed myself to let go and just in the moment be, it always is. When I move away from that- from that rediscovery, it’s like I have to re- recover that inner knowing and sweet serenity all over again..
Sometimes its very slippery to keep that inner knowing in hand, like trying to keep in hand a wiggly fish fresh out of water fighting to get back in: that is how defence mechanisms can behave having been set up fundamentally to help us survive. I am understanding in this renewed discovery that I am currently struggling with letting go of CONTROL and more deeply reinstating TRUST; both remain challenges because of core wounds experienced in my childhood…
Eighteen years of childhood experiences of basic distrust and having had very little control over what took place in my then life from day to day. I still carry that world around inside..
Having gained more clarity these past 2 days- and being called, again, to heal those core issues at a deeper foundational level, I have been endeavouring to do just that, particularly focusing on removing all unfair judgements against myself, like fearing/feeling I am a failure and am failing my wellbeing and self by not just granting myself enough rest and relaxation, especially when I needed..
Instead, I am re-learning to more mindfully ALLOW RESTLESSNESS, ALLOW the NEED TO CONTROL, and ALLOW BASIC DISTRUST to just BE THERE. I am re-learning not to try So Hard to “fix,” but to understand and LET BE. And over these past 2 days I feel slightly , subtly more, at Peace and ok enough to just be and occupy the moment to moment. Doing/being so has actually felt like having a little girl sense/self close besides me; the one who struggled in this way for very good reason, as there was oftentimes, for 18 years, no adult around to give her life structure or meaning, let alone to put her to bed and kiss her worring forehead; let alone to keep her safe and warm from day to day- that was my job from what seems and feels like year dot. So that’s why I continue to struggle now, and I guess the current climate of coronavirus is adding its two pencies worth.
Sorry for the long post; just needed to concrete this experience and rediscovery by sharing. I also hope that sharing in this way may help someone here in their own recovery and self- rediscovery. I know from past successful experiences of having overcome great ’emotional regulate’ hurdle mountains, like giving up bulimia, that dismantling this current”difficult” is also possible. I just know with this one I have to give it all the space and time it needs because it’s huge. I need to honour that it needs space & time to neurologically & psychologically undo, and spiritually attune more completely to the person I am now and the good life I have created for myself. Thanks for listening….🧡🧡🧡
Peace & Love,
There is a Sweetness that lies at the heart of resting and stillness…I long to meet my Self there…
And at the same time I fear to relinquish an ancient, archaic wounded control, lay my burdens & defences down, and Let Life meet me, face to face…
Don’t I believe I deserve such Nectar as Sweet & Fine as this? Is that part of the reluctance, of the earthly resistance?
The fear is both understandable and makes absolutely no sense at all. But I offer the fear Perseverance, and Will, “We’ll get past this!”
Hopefully, this too shall pass, as many more difficulties have passed before it..
Peace & Love,
There used to be this programme called Lost In Space; Sci-fi I think. But this idea of the opposite- Being Found In Space, works for me as I realise that being lost in time, in the world, has a high price to be paid in out-of-sync ill-health.
I can struggle with Simply Being Present, even when the Space To Be & do so is present. I have to consciously say to myself, “you have space; take it; occupy it, its yours.”
There is also something in The World that discourages us from doing so- from even having “head space” to think for ourselves and make up our own minds about things.
There is also the trauma from my childhood where I fell into the cptsd coping habit of almost making myself invisible: taking up little and/or no space, not wanting to be seen as a nuisance. Feeling I did not deserve to be here, not being made welcomed and taken care of enough to feel and/or be otherwise.
In Real Time, when I come out of this worldly trance and survivor mode, and give myself permission To Be, To Take, I Find myself surprisingly At Home In Space.
I find my One True Self In Space. I find My Right To Be Here In Space. I can Breathe Here In Space; Be Me Here In Space. Though it’s a challenge, it is one I am happy, someplace, To Rise to, as there Is Rest In Space, Peace In Space, Unconditional Love In Space.
Damn! Nothing Really Matters In Space!! Making Space The Place To Be, especially routinely, daily. Especially when recuperating from some major physical, mental, emotional, environmental (e.g covid-19) something.
Love, please help us all to more naturally- and with greater ease, Gift ourselves The Space To Be & Breathe; to Give ourselves Permission To Land and to be truly Found In timeless, Warmly welcoming, Space.
Off to do just that for a bit.
Peace & Love,
Bearing feelings be like bearing the pain of childbirth..
Joy & Pain comes with being human; comes with change; comes with simply being yourself, especially if, at first, you weren’t allowed to be.
So, as I bear down & take further root into the earth and reach up further into Potential-all in the service of having the best life – experience possible,
I will bear the pain.
I will bear the pain and breathe into it’s reaches, allowing it to pass through me, because from experience- human beings greatest teacher- I have come to know, that is where Joy is.
That is where- as Rumi shared, Love first tasted the lips of being human- right out there on that limb,
where lays Life’s richest experiences…
Where lays Life’s Sweetest fruits…dare we reach for it, let Life kiss our lips, and know the Joy of Being- richly human..
Knowing the secret of Being, Deep In, existence..
Oftentimes old adverse wounds keep us stuck in emotional pain/numbness that keeps our dreams and the things and people we love out of reach and at a distance. As long as there is breath, It is never too late to heal and regain opportunities once lost- opportunities to love, to repair, to re-nurture, to break the pain of generations…Looking back to move forward & on 💜🙏
I am currently re-reading ‘The Gift Of Our Compulsions’ by Mary O’Malley. In a nutshell the book encourages us to see our compulsions as Gifts; gifts because if we can stay still enough to understand them, we would find that at the heart and bottom of compulsion is a deep Wellspring waiting to fulfil and nourish us as no external thing ever truly can. No compulsion can give us the relief that we deep down need; nor even the relief we initially experienced when we first engaged in the compulsive behaviour. And it is this very inability that makes the activity compulsive as it can never reach the underlying legitimate need.
Finding relief in compulsions is a bit like expecting eating a banana to quench your thirst when it is a drink that the body needs: the banana quenching your thirst is never going to happen. Indeed, the only thing the banana can do is temporarily distract you from how thirsty you are. You can’t fool the body, though we can spend our whole lifetime trying. The body knows what it needs and will come back to get it. The body is well equipped at doing its job, and is as equally committed. And its job? Keeping us well and strong, across the board. We give the body very little credit for this. Both we and the world very easily turn the body into ‘enemy’ then go on to treat it pretty badly, like it’s a robot without feeling and need.
In Mary O’Malley’s book we are also encouraged to not only change the way we view compulsions, but also to change the way we relate to them, bringing the light of much needed understanding and compassion to them, seen as they initially came into being to help us deal with and manage some great big difficult something. So there’s a way in which compulsions could be more readily resolved simply by seeing compulsions as more friend than foe- a treatment that also takes the sting out of them.
Compulsions come to go, being set up to serve us at one time, not for all our lifetime. The process of allowing them to pass is not an easy one considering the condition of compulsion’s ferocious and desolate heart. Not easy, though possible.
Compulsive behaviours are all kinds of addictions, like gambling, alcohol & substance misuse, compulsive eating – and all other forms of eating disorders; overworking, keeping busy, surfing the net, social media, shopping, gambling, pornography, gaming: the list is exhaustive.
In the book the author offers many simple suggestions and exercises. The exercise I will share here with you is her idea of keeping a self-awareness diary.
A self-awareness diary.
Get yourself a diary and divide the page into 3 columns. At the top of the first column write: What is taking place now? In the second column write: what is happening with my compulsion, and on the top of the third column write: What am I experiencing inside?
My compulsive behaviour (of choice) from my early teens to mid-twenties was comforting eating which developed into Bulimia. My healing journey began when I went into therapy for the eating disorder. Currently I am not bulimic and do not compulsively eat so much. What I can still do is emotionally eat, sometimes eating foods that have no real nutritional content and value, but in the moment attempts to rescue me from difficult situations and feelings- and/or compensating myself for doing too much at the expense of my own life energy.
This feeling of too much comes up often in my demanding job, as well as being within a role that is one also of emotionally giving out: emotionally giving out and therapeutically holding survivors of traumatising domestic violence. Outside of work, I also have a couple of other challenges on my plate that takes from me in similar ways.
It is a testimony of how far I have come in my general healing journey, as well as in my recovery from disordered eating, that I have not fallen back into bulimia’s misguided & crippling embrace, because currently (and ongoing for a good few years now) there is good enough reason to fall back into struggles with food. In the old eating disorder days I would have binged and purged for much less. Anyway, with the current, on occasion, emotional eating I sometimes engage in, overall- and if I do say so myself, I have a good handle on it. However, this past week at work my self-awareness diary entry would have gone like this:
First column: The Situation- the pressures of work, especially after working with a highly anxious and traumatised client.
Second column: After meeting with this client I notice the need for something sweet, reassuring, and rewarding; I felt an ancient hungering and need for compensation. Indeed, an absent colleague had left a packet of sweet oat biscuits on her desk right beside me, and I felt those biscuits taunting me with it wiles and false promises of comforting “there, there, there”😊 Within the light of self-awareness, I consciously felt- and in so doing, released- the temptation to emotionally eat. I am now more able to sit with compulsion without, in reactivity, and immediately, taking the decision to act on it.
Third column: I can sit with the feeling of emotional drain, coupled with the feelings of tired and overwhelm, feelings already in the counselling room belonging to the client and being experienced by me in counter-transference. Similar feelings I am also currently experiencing in my own ongoing and challenging life situations. I can now sit with these feeling states, as well as with the ‘sucked dry’ bodily sensation of exhausted inner tensions.
And being, like I have already mentioned, well on the recovery road, I can tolerate and contain that kind of internal angst, and delay- and/or not engage, those inner compulsive drives in a way I never could at the beginning of giving bulimia up. I know that these difficult and painful feeling states can and do pass and I am now more familiar with the felt experience of their transmutation. So I no longer stand in Process’ way because the reward and relief gained from this level of self-acceptance feeds and sustains me better than compulsively acting out ever did, or ever could.
I am currently re-reading this book because I am feeling challenged on a number of fronts and I want to ensure that compulsion don’t try to sneak in through internal, unconscious, back doors. I want to keep that bolt on, as my suffering does not need, or deserve, more suffering added on!
And in regards to self-care, I do all those mind body spiritual things to keep me well- exercise, meditation, healthier eating, living more in the moment and having greater self-appreciation and Presence. I have also taken to, these past 6 weeks, gifting myself with a ‘PJ- stay in bed all day- Saturdays.‘ Even this is an achievement in and off itself as another one of my compulsions has been ‘overdoing and busy.’ Initially I had found taking this particular monkey off my back, and simply being and relaxing, painstakingly angst-filled and mind-numbingly boring. Now that “Insperience’ too has been mostly transformed.
All is a Process and takes time. It’s taken me 33 years to be where I am, as well as to more fully realise that The Nourishment and The Joy is in the journey itself, not the destination. So try not to worry yourself too much, because as such, we already have all the time in the world that we need and don’t have to wait ‘until’ some future date to truly In Joy our lives and Being. To quote the author,
“I am not offering you a cure. that is the old style of thinking in which your healing happens sometime in the future. This process is about inviting you into relationship with what is right now, (difficult or otherwise), for that is where true healing lies.”
So, for those of you reading this blog and being not too long on Transformative Road, try keeping a self-awareness diary and see the lessons and wisdom it draws to you. Keep the diary somewhere you can make notes of what is happening both inside your body and out, throughout the day. For example, if your compulsion is with eating, keep the diary on the table in the kitchen. This exercise- and all good attention given to ourselves in this more compassionate & curious way, is exactly what is needed in the very moment we reach for our particular compulsions.
Much like a child reaching to be picked up by her mummy and be given ‘lap-time,’ which probably was the kind of thing that was missing and/or lacking when compulsion first entered the picture, just like that mother we need to reach down in those moments, pick ourselves up, and respond to our needs in more loving & appropriate self-soothing ways.
Indeed, think about that day when you first engaged the now problem behaviour… What did you really need at that time? What were you hoping the behaviour could give you…that you wasn’t getting? Is the penny dropping…?
Nothing has changed in the sense that these unmet needs are still t/here, in need of the right attention and care. And when you start giving attention to yourself in this more self-caring way, the self-awareness diary will help to shed light on the things in your life causing ongoing unhappiness and struggle. And in bringing all what ails you to attention, we are then called to do what needs being done to remedy the situation…even if that is simple acceptance: Acceptance of the truth of how situations in our lives currently are …
Discovering new ways to better change and lovingly rock & hold, those things in our lives that make us truly uncomfortable.
And as we do so, may we live more assuredly In Peace, as we walk, more reassured, to the land of our- Sweet with Milk & Honey, Dreams..
Peace & Love,
“The door to God is the insecurity of not knowing anything. Bear the grace of that uncertainty and all wisdom will be yours.” Adyashanti
I am sure many of us have heard the term “fear of the unknown,” and/or have experienced it in our lives. Over the years, whilst reading various spiritual text and being on this self-transformation journey away from fear and toward love resting more securely deep within the core of me, I have come across the idea that there is nothing to fear in the unknown- with NOTHING being the operative word.
It has taken me a minute to appreciate that the unknown is basically unknown, and therefore, basically unoccupied. All the fear we associate with the unknown comes from all the fear we project, and/or, dump into it- a bit like what gets done under the label of ‘racism.’ For example, Racists have no good reason to hate black folks- its all hot air…all their own self-hatred, projected out…
The unknown is an empty space: an empty space of Pure Potential; of Unconditioned consciousness.
Recently whilst re-reading Deepak Chopra’s ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws to Success,’ what he had to say on the unknown and uncertainty resonated more deeply within me, especially at this present time. For the past year and a half specifically, I have been thrown into the unknown and am being called to have a more trusting and surrendered relationship with it; releasing the need for control.
In my childhood, and right through to now, I have made getting to know more about life, and all subjects relevant to life, my absolute business. During my formative years, having grown up in an atmosphere of the unexpected and the unknown, where I was left mostly alone and to my own devices, I had to figure life out myself and find ways to best be and live within it. Therefore, extricating some kind of control over life, and all things in it, became order of the days for me.
In whatever unobtrusive way I was able to gain some elementary illusion of control, and to create some kind of a plan, I took it. This gave me some hope, as well as helped me cope with extremely testy situations I faced back then. During that time, to not have had this control seeking coping mechanism, would have meant me totally losing touch and track with reality and falling completely into mental illness. Therefore seeking control saved me, psychologically- and spiritually.
In school, during adolescence, English, English literature and Sociology where the subjects I truly enjoyed because of my love as a child of reading and writing- and the much needed escape it afforded me. My love of sociology came about from this need to KNOW, as much as possible about life, not just for knowing sake, but for the sake of life not so easily coming up behind me and biting me in the butt. I am very much the kind of person who would rather know something- however awful- rather than be kept in the dark. For me ignorance is far from bliss! So the acquisition of knowledge gave me understanding on various topics, and in so doing afforded me a sense of further control.
This early need to know, and the fear experienced, (and traumatically lived), of not knowing, made the unknown- whether a new and exciting situation, or a challenging and unexpected one, a very scary concept for me, unconsciously. Over the years I have come to carefully, and oftentimes painstakingly, dismantle fear after fear, giving up certain behaviours that used to help me manage my fears. For example, an eating disorder, not speaking up for myself, kissing frogs and trying to “make them” love me in the ways that I need; giving at the expense of myself, to multitudes of vampires waiting in line to happily suck me dry!
Having lived with so much fear in my formative years, no doubt releasing the need for fear will continue to be life’s work for me. For the likes of me – and others who too have lived through Adverse Childhood Experiences- I don’t think there will ever be a point on this life journey when I am totally fear free; I am now very cool with that. I am a Survivor and I honour, give voice to, and make beautiful those battle scars, especially through the transformative medium of creative writing and living my best life possible. Like an Eagle flying high, I over-came, and will continue to over-come as I journey on. I’m my own Shero! And today I can safely say, that fear no longer drives me: Hope, Faith and Love occupy my driver’s seat.
Like previously mentioned, currently I have one situation that has been 18 months ongoing, and has thrown me into the unknown in a very big way. And because it is a situation that involves a loved one and as such I am unable to assume full control (which of course there is no such thing), it can all have me, at times- which I don’t mind admitting, scared shitless; excuse my French. This is a situation I have never had to deal with before, let alone so up close and personal, so I am very much in territories unknown; though I am educating myself and learning loads.
This situation is much more of a marathon than it is a sprint, and comes with many ups and downs- though Up is always winning. And being spiritually-inclined as I am, I am able to find comfort in the following idea that,
“All things are working together for me- and my loved one- Greater Good.”
All I can do is play my hand as best as I can and keep alert – and/or internally quiet enough to Hear my next step.
So this situation is a great teacher for me, and though I am far from learning its lessons, being still in the thick of it, in the greater scheme of things- and coming from such meagre beginnings- If I do say so to and for myself, I am doing very well!
The great lessons I am experientially learning- and I say experientially because reading a book about a thing is much different than living that situation and gaining the wisdom embedded deep within it; the main lesson for me is to resist the temptation of filling the unknown with a whole bag load of fearful thoughts and imaginings, as in the world I/we have been very well conditioned to do so. Instead, I am cultivating, and holding to, the metaphysical fact of the following,
“All of creation, everything that exists in the physical world, is the result of the unmanifest transforming itself into the manifest. Everything that we behold comes from the unknown. Our physical bodies, the physical universe- anything and everthing that we can perceive through our senses- is the transformation of the unmanifest, unknown, and invisible, into the manifest- known & visible” Deepak Chopra
I believe- and can feel- that the empty land of The Unknown is rich & life-giving soil/soul, and when we find ourselves in The Unknown, we must be careful not to fill that deep, dark, vibrant soil with seeds of fear and doubt. And if – though more precisely when, fearful thoughts rises up again, don’t allow those divisive thoughts to have the last word. Instead root them out, and cover them over with, life-giving affirmations and/or prayers. One of my favourite affirmations that I use quite regularly is:
“I trust in The Process Of Life. I am safe.”
I also keep a number of quotes that resonates with me, close to me, acting as re-minders constantly, for example:
“When you bring consciousness to the moments in which you feel afraid or challenged, you will see that you can choose love and kindness over reactive emotional patterns.”
So the true and more productive attitude, and personal relationship we ought to have in regards to uncertainty and the unknown, is one of excitement and joyful anticipation; is one of expectancy, like an excited expectant mother feels toward the bundle of joy that she is carrying, and will soon have to hold, in her hands: The Whole World, In the Palm of Her Benevolent Creative Protective Hands.
Peace & Love,
Has anybody seen my childhood?
Peace & Love,
My shoulders feels fed up with its lot, tired it is of all the responsibilities place on it, from year dot. Took me a while to learn to lighten the load, but as much as I try to lay burdens off, the more seems to get piled on. So how can my shoulders be anything but angry; angry at this relentless overload. How can my shoulders not react by getting its back up and turning inward away from a world that keeps loading more and more on. WTF: ENOUGH already!
Peace & Love,
My life, at this time- as well as on and off all-around, is being crowned, like the crowning a new baby’s head does during the most painful part of giving birth. Being a mother of 2 who have had natural births, I can say that in my life to date, there is no pain like it. This past 18 months in particular right through to this current date I have had to face-and have been knocked up by- some huge life events, the kinds one does not see coming. The only time I am not too bothered by the traumas I have experienced throughout my childhood, is when I am facing life events such as these. During those moments-and having gained much emotional and psychological recovery these past 31 years, I am able to be present in the heart of the situation, like the calm eye at the centre of a storm.
In that quiet I am able to See The Crossroads; I am able to see clearly the choices that lies in front of me: do I give into despair and allow myself to be totally overcome by the situation at hand, or do I choose to use that Holy Instant to reaffirm my truth, strengthen my capabilities, and put to work my faith? Do I put my money where my mouth is from all the life lessons and healing I have acquired to date? For me now, that is a no brainer, though I do feel the temptation to lose myself in victim, as I did as a child not having the mental, emotional, cognitive capacity and life experience not to do so. Then I had to go into unconscious survivor mode.
Presently, in that Holy Instant moment when unconscious survival mode beckons as option, I can also hear my mother’s lamentations of “Why Me’s!?!” Why did bad things always happen to her; that life is just no good, just a dangerous menacing unfair place that likes to target her in particular. Within all that quiet and the echoes of adult voices past, I am able to remain awake and use the manure of the shitty situation to improve myself- and reaffirm my faith.
To reaffirm my faith in a basic goodness in life that mostly wants good for my life, us being in Like-kind. My trust and faith in the intrinsic goodness of Life reminds me that bad things happens to people and I am not exempt from that human condition. I am humble enough to know that I am not so special that bad things ought not to happen to me, but to them other there…maybe. I am not to take it personally, though the irony is, it is experienced as such.
Being human, the impact of the various life events does shake me and take a toll, though not for long, as the older I get I know that I will have to take some kind of time out and give myself some tender loving self care- and open myself out to receiving that from trusted others. I am knowing that all that has happened to me these past 18 months in particular, is the crowning effect, as in the midst of it I am bearing much precious fruits. Indeed, these past 4 years my creative juices have distinctly been set to overflow, using as grist for the mill all my joys and pains so I may become even more of my good self.
And in that flow, I naturally turn and happily share my findings, being there for others in their deserts, offering encouragement. This is where I feel most alive, where I feel such generosity of heart, and appreciation of myself, my life, and all that I have. In spite of it all, as Charlie Wilson sang, “I’m blessed, I’m Blessed, I’m blessed.”
Peace & Love,
In April 2018 I decided to set myself a challenge and in so doing put an old haunt to bed. It is hard knowing where to start as this topic is so huge for me. There has been a lot of unconsciousness around it being in origin a key coping mechanism that came into being from year dot, it would seem. The decision I made was to not emotionally eat: to release the need to. Like I said, not a straight forward need to release as it covers up a whole host of old unmet needs, some of which still lingers. So trying to unpick it here is going to take some doing, but needs must.
So let’s go back to the root. In my childhood I was not attended to emotionally; not by a single soul, if my memory serves me right. Much have been written and researched on this topic, especially with the human species being dependent for the longest, compared to other warm blooded mammals. To summarise, some of the development needs of the developing child is the need for security, stability, consistency, emotional support, love, education, positive role models, and structure.
As a child I had none of those needs adequately met, hence the hole that needed to be filled by ‘any means necessary,’ for the sake of survival. The human organism has to find ways to adapt to the many situations s/he can find themselves in, even if that has to be by a process of maladjustment. From very young- primary school age, food and sweets attempted to fill that situation vacant parenting gap. This is the bare bones of it, and I am not blaming here- though I can. Just lying out clearly that certain reality the foundation of my psyche and physiologically was built upon. And when foundations aren’t sturdy and strong -however spectacularly looking, when shaken and/or stirred, at some point they can come tumbling down.
As a child I grew up quickly. I had to take on the role of “looking out for myself” because no one else was. I also had to look out for myself for the bare necessity of trying to bring some kind of order, peace and structure to my days, for the 18 years childhood term: that was quite clear. I remember being in primary school, unable to focus on learning, with my mind instead being totally taken with how to get money to eat; to buy some sweets, and buy myself more dolls, and doll’s clothes. Near where I lived there was this huge toy shop that I would spend many hours in; being there filled me with such joy.
These preoccupations truly helped me to survive, as well as to have something in my life, in my day, to look forward to. I also had to create my own entertainment: television filled a lot of that space, and is still very much an escape for me today.
Oftentimes there was no food at home; oftentimes there was the long wait to eat. I always felt hungry: hungry for food, hungry for love; never feeling full-enough when food was for that moment forthcoming. I was also unable to experience fully being at peace and ease, even when good moments came knocking. They never lasted for long, so I learned not to build any hopes upon them. It all became quite a pattern.
It was of no surprise, looking back, that I went on to develop an eating disorder at 13 years old; Bulimia. Dolls begun to do very little for me around that time, so I needed to find me something else to fill my time and to cope with this incredible painful feelings of utter neediness. I needed to externalise it all; unconsciously creating a behavioural problem, to act as a dustbin to dump all my angst in. And though Bulimia cost me in certain respects- as do all substitutes for love, attention, comfort and support, it also served me: it helped me to self-soothe and emotionally regulate, much needed for psychological survival.
As children we learn to do these important things, to self-soothe and emotional & self-regulate, by our parents and caregivers; in time internalising that nurturing and care afforded us, taking over in time our own self- regulation. In the absence of this humanisation, what gets internalised instead, is an inner pain-filled emptiness of nothingness. This is how it works.
When we miss out on this nurturing, we miss an important education in (inner) life and are set up to find other less desirable ways to emotional regulate, which then turns into a ‘self-medication.’ This can be observed at the extreme end within all addictions- alcohol, drugs, sex, eating disorders, bad relationships; and at the other more “socially accepted” end of being a workaholic, self-distracting busyness, and the constant striving to be and do bigger, better, best: all inner complexes that the world of advertisement and its father capitalism lives and breathes to feed.
I am no longer Bulimic, and have not been for over 30 years, but I would say that in my head, when stressed, my over preoccupation with food, eating and weight, still remained. When I am feeling emotional alone without the comforting presence of another soul, the need to comfort eat, peaks. I still do not feel I have that certain someone to turn to and get some of my emotional needs met. Outside of personal therapy, which has emotionally corrected a lot that had gone awry within my young life/me, in this regard, I still feel starved.
Maybe in learning to be with myself, with the full range of my angst when it presents, without distracting and escaping through preoccupation with food and being consumed with what & when I will eat, next, maybe I will find other things besides food and the same old, to help pick me up and have to look forward to..
To my mind, releasing the need to emotionally eat is a renewal of the commitment I made to myself in 1986. Now I am being called to a deeper self intimacy, which I do not take lightly, as on some days, and at certain times of the day, bearing these “difficult” “impossible” “needy” feeling states, that emotional eating used to help me escape, takes some doing; the sheer intensity of those feeling! Sometimes it feels like I am in actual physical labour, deep in at the place where one experiences the greatest pain, just before the sweetest (bundle of) joy…
Still waiting, and trying to trust in the process, of having more lasting peace and joy reside inside me…
watch this space..
Peace & Love,