Ask and It is Given. Period.

I invite the Holy Spirit to be my guest today. No other.

I can expect the arrival of whom I invite and so, with great pleasure, I have prepared the head of the table for your arrival.

I know I have invited you before – and you’ve always come – but I didn’t recognize you. I denied you entrance.

Today I accept your presence in whatever dress you come in.

Truly, “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

Today my brother has come, this I know. Without a doubt he always does. And there you are as well. It can’t be otherwise.

I invited you and you’ve promised your attendance.

Thank you for coming.

 

The Next Step

So, I moved back in with my husband.

Some things have changed but there certainly haven’t been the dramatic changes that I first swore had to be made before I would even consider stepping foot back in the house.

But, there has been some change. Enough change that I’m willing to trust the process and see where things go. That’s what my heart told me to do. Move home.

I’ve only been home a week though and it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park.

I still harbor anger and frustration and resentment and I wonder how to handle it. It’s a testament of faith to forgive and look beyond without feeling like I’m sacrificing myself. After all, I don’t believe true love is found in martyrdom either.

I find it an easier thing to overlook and look beyond and forgive others. I take very little personally and try to find the source of love in everyone.

It’s harder to do when I look at my husband. There exists this feeling of heavy expectation in marriage. “You are my wife and this is what you need to do for me.”

I don’t get marriage anymore – it feels like ownership – at least, at times, this one does.

I do believe though that a freedom in marriage, even this one, is possible but only when the expectation of fulfillment from the other is gone.

Operating from the Love of God as your only source of fulfillment relinquishes the unattainable worldly duty of the other.

There’s a difference between Love and Duty. Love springs forth automatically from the Source. Duty is obligation to rules, the absence of Love.

Each day I search my heart and hold not the past but only the present and in the only way possible, He will direct my path.

 

Waving the White Flag

Past and future, fear and judgement. Yes, they have ruled my life for the majority of it. They continue to, too, yet I am more acutely aware of this than I ever have been before.

I recall that one of the hardest things I struggled with through treatment and into recovery of my eating disorder was giving up control.

I remembered the past and feared the future.

From the past, I remembered the excess weight. I remembered the words that cut like knives, “You are fat. No wonder you have no friends. You are ugly.”

There were also seemingly innocent words of wisdom shed my way. “You can be anything you want. Don’t ever settle. You are capable of doing anything.”

Two points of view that were completely contradictory and totally confusing. One said I was something to be shamed and the other said that I had complete control over who I was.

The sum of that equation was pretty clear.

If I was capable of being or doing anything, yet I was a disgusting shame, well, I clearly was doing a damn awful job at being the person I should be.

And so, from the past, rules were generated in order to create the perfect future. And every action forward spawned from a place of fearful memory. There was no presence or joy in any action anymore, everything simply became a means to an end which I never, ever was able to reach.

That was the struggle in recovery, to give up the memory and just be, but in many ways, recovery, for me, became more rules.

I was shown how ‘normal’ people ate and thought and acted and how ‘eating disordered’ people ate and thought and acted. I learned strategies for integrating ‘normal’ thought and behavior into my life and, with repetition of these, I managed to become ‘normal’. For a while.

Two years later, I now find myself in a phase of relapse.

I ask myself, “What happened?” And the question comes not from a place of blame but, truly, from a place of curiosity.

Food and eating disorders go hand in hand. But food is not the foe, not mine anyway.

To some degree, food issues and proper nutrition must be addressed, but to a greater degree, I believe, there is an underlying modus operandi that drives the choices I make.

My life underwent a significant and traumatic change almost a year ago and, well, in many ways I’ve tried to effort my way out of it. And in my effort I’ve not managed to do much of anything except push myself into a corner of fear and judgement and condemnation of my actions.

I give thought to the events of the past year and I can see when I started to unravel. I fell back to the past and began fearing the future outcome.

I instigated a huge, fundamental change in my life. It was driven by inspiration, this I know, because I knew in the deepest place in my heart that I was doing what needed to be done. But then the desired outcome, or what I thought would evolve from my actions, didn’t happen. In fact, nothing has happened the way I anticipated that it would.

I fell back to memories – “You are shameful. You are ugly.”

Yet, more memories tell me I have the ability to do anything, to make my life into something.

The equation fell short yet again.

Subconscious memories started replaying – shame, disgust, failure, bad, unworthy, stupid, fat, horrible.

I fell back into major depression. I didn’t want to look, I refused to look. And, the way out? The eating disorder. The food. It has been the doorway out of reality and into dreamland, to get me out of the pain of myself that I don’t want to face.

But that is exactly what I must do. Face it. Regardless of the circumstance, this is the Now.

I can hardly understand it myself because everything is a choice, isn’t it? And if it’s a choice, and I’ve relapsed into my addiction, then isn’t it my fault? And then doesn’t that mean I’m wrong, I’m bad, I’m a disgusting shame?

But, who says? Only my memories say so.

I believe the action of my eating disorder is a response to memories that are replaying in me. The eating disorder is not the problem. The memories that are replaying in me are what are causing the eating disorder.

It is in me. Whatever ‘it’ is, it is in me. I don’t know why, I cannot seek to know why anymore. IT is in me. This is true.

So then, is there a way out?

In a manner of speaking, I believe so. But it’s not in the denial of the eating disorder within. It’s in the acceptance of what is Now and loving every aspect of it.

I don’t understand it. Hardly at all. But I’ve tried fighting it. I’ve tried ignoring it. I’ve tried a million things. And the only thing I have left to do is surrender.

The bible says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

I hardly understand this either. But when effort is futile the easiest thing to do is trust the wisest words I know and just allow the peace of God to transcend the pain.

I surrender.

 

Know Thyself

This morning has given way to more contemplation about the events and progression of my life. Today I think back to eating disorder recovery and drawing parallels between then and now. Why wasn’t I able to get here from there when I tried so hard and for so long? How was I able to get here from there, finally? Where did recovery start and how does it evolve?

Admittedly, I share but only one story of eating disorder recovery – mine. Every body follows a different path. But, on a fundamental level, I truly believe the path out of the hell that is ED is a similar path for everyone. But once we’re out of hell’s grip, the paths we choose to follow are varied.

And therein lies a very real truth. In the depths of it, ED is WHO we are. Every choice we make is not our own but the one that ED tells us to make. We believe ED and ED guides us in absolutely every decision we make. I use the word “guide” very loosely because ED doesn’t really guide us. ED offers choices and makes us contradict every decision we make if it flies in the face of what ED is telling us. We, as real, live, thinking, feeling human beings, cease to exist. Is ED the devil? Perhaps. We feed ED and ED survives. If we starve ED, ED dies. And once ED dies, we slowly start to emerge from the depths of darkness and into the light where our own being comes to light. We grow strong and powerful in our connection with the world and we become real.

So where does the emergence of self begin? It begins with trust. It starts with a tiny little seed of trust somewhere deep in yourself that says ED isn’t right, ED hurts, there has to be a better way. And you start to listen. You hold firm in the voice you choose to listen to and eventually that voice becomes the loudest in the room.

  • I heard the tiny voice that said, “This isn’t right. It hurts too much to be right.”
  • I listened to the prompting that said, “You can’t do this on your own. You need another voice to guide you. ED is too strong and right now you are too weak.”
  • I trusted my team and let them lead the way.
  • I trusted my team with every ounce of belief I had.
  • I followed my team’s guidance and wisdom and advice, blindly if you will, reminding myself that I did not know the way out.
  • I let my team be my voice of reason until I had developed my own voice of reason.

Let’s be clear. When one has NEVER listened to their own voice of truth and reason, it takes a long time to start to hear it, to feel it again.

I took very small steps, often with a lot of hand holding. I turned over 1000% of myself to what my team was teaching me and where they were guiding me to. I had to. The only other leader in my life was ED and it was leading me straight to hell. This I knew.

It’s like learning to walk. I felt like an infant. They (my team) carried me at first but then I got restless. They put me down and held my hand so I didn’t fall. I got restless again. They let go of my hand. I fell. They picked me up and held my hand until I was ready to try again. Eventually the hand-holding became less necessary. We started to take walks together – no hand-holding – just my support walking beside me in comfort. Gradually, I began to walk faster and faster and faster…I started to run. I was running into myself with love.

All the basic fundamental rules of food and eating and taking care of self, those have been ingrained in me. And now, I can make choices about everything in my life because I am strong.

I know myself today. I will know myself better tomorrow. And every choice I make, today or tomorrow, is grounded in my knowledge of self and love.