Food for…

Annah Elizabeth 2 Comments

I have been carrying around Geneen Roth’s, Women Food And God, for months now, hopeful each day will provide a few stolen moments… Actually, my life lends itself, daily, to a number of mini barren blocks of time. How I deplete those minutes varies, but most recently I have exhausted them through word wars with my sister. Word wars in the literal sense, in the form of Facebook’s Scrabble app.

You see, I like to linger over my reading and writing. Sitting with a good book or penning something is to me what a long, luxurious bath is for others. Thus, I find five-minute segments unfulfilling, and, quite frankly, frustrating. But I can only go so long before the desire for stories grabs me like a vice, and I submit to the timeline…

That, my friends, could well be one of Geneen’s messages…another one of the stories I tell myself, due to some ingrained pattern of behavior… On my way out the door to pick up my daughter from the hospital this morning (no alarm…a simple sleep study), I snatched the book from the table and dropped it into my purse. My child needed shampoo and conditioner and I knew I’d have to wait for her to ready herself. These are the wise words I encountered as I read:

“About reactions: feelings are in the body, reactions are in the head; a reaction is the mental deduction of a feeling. (And beliefs are reactions that we’ve had so many times that we beleive they are true.) In an attempt not to feel what is uncomfortable, the mind will often rant and ramble and tell us how awful it all is.
“Here is some of what you may hear: This pain will never end. The sadness will overwhelm me. If I let myself feel it, I will not be able to function. Once you know that these kinds of reactions will come up, you can notice them and keep inquiring…
“…Notice whatever arises, even if it surprises you. “Oh, I thought I was sad, but now I see that this is loneliness. It feels like a ball of rubber bands in my stomach.” Welcome the rubber bands. Give them room. Watch what happens.”

   
At the time I uncovered my husband’s last affair, I felt the best I’d felt in years. I had, for the first time in my adult life, began taking care of myself. I had truthfully challenged a twenty-six-year nicotine addiction, as well as the seventy-five pounds I’d gained since meeting my husband, twenty years earlier. Despite the chaos in my life, I made a conscious choice to proceed with my plans to quit smoking. I had spent the previous three months focusing on portion control and had already lost twenty-four pounds. I was determined to meet my goals. And I did, until late January, when the winter blues coincided with the wearing off of the shock that had cushioned my spirit.

As the weight steadily returned, I did what we all do: I turned to questions to help heal my conflict. Why? When I was doing so well? Why am I reverting to old habits? This is what came to me: “I was overweight and unhappy with myself when he had his first affair. This time, he had gained weight and was unhappy with himself. I was garnering lots of attention; maybe he felt threatened and insecure. Now, I believe that answer to be a reaction that I was able to recognize. What I failed to do, however, was to further the inquiry, as Geneen call’s it. I didn’t sit with that fear, I didn’t look at the color and shape of it. Hence, it didn’t lead me to rejection.

Rejection. I may not know its features, but I do know what an adverse reaction it has on my psyche. As I contemplate Geneen’s message, now, this is what comes to me: I have considered rejection to be something awful. It whispers from the depths of my soul, I am not worthy.

Hmmmm… I will need to sit with rejection for a while and see what other beliefs its characteristics embody, for I do know that I am worthy… I will have to do more inquiry into my beliefs…give it space…internalize that it–rejection–is not the death sentence I seem to act as if it were… Food for thought. Food for my soul…

But for now, I must return to work…

What about you? Are you in touch with your reactions? Your deep-rooted beliefs?

Soon…

Comments 2

  1. I have felt unworthy my whole life I think. I’m only now learning to deal with this belief. I still find myself avoiding dealing with my feelings, like grief, fear, anger. I’m better than I used to be but my first reaction is always avoidance of feeling bad, instead of just sitting with it. Baby steps.

  2. Lilith, of the many words I love from this books, I especially love the part where Geneen talks about reverting to old habits, herself. Someone who is so successful, still has faltering moments. I find great confidence in hearing of others trials, for it reinforces for me that stumbling is okay… It reinforces for me that my own words, “It’s not the mistake that matters, it’s what you do with it,” have merit. It reinforces for me that those same words apply to ME! I tend to forget that… So many of us do!

    Keep practicing, Lilith! The more you do, the easier it will be. One day worthiness will feel as comfortable on you as an old pair of comfy shoes!

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