Before the holidays, as you may have read, I started reading “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I haven’t gotten very far; I’m still reading about her eating phase in Italy. I’ve also been in my own eating phase–eating the last of the Christmas chocolates, eating up time as I hibernate with my bestie Mr. Netflix. Also eating up the good and light-filled spiritual messages that manage to penetrate my January stupor.
It’s OK, though. I’m OK. No need to be hard on myself. Just changing gears, as I seem to always be doing, as we all have to do. Some things I happily eat up (not caring so much about others’ opinions, setting boundaries). Some things have been forced down my throat (my husband’s cancer, aging, my child taking Driver’s Ed). And some things I invite right in, despite the harm. (“Hello, Negativity!” “Hello, Apathy!” “Hello, Overwhelm!” “C’mon in!”)
Do I want to feel terrible? Sometimes it seems that way. But I don’t love feeling terrible. There are too many fantastic things to enjoy, and heaven knows how little time to enjoy them.
I gave a pep talk to my teenager recently about trying a different approach to the same struggles. I told her about the idea that humans will usually stick to what’s comfortable, that we tend to keep doing things the same way, even if we don’t really like being there, because there’s some kind of psychological benefit we’re getting. Maybe someone will feel sorry for us. Maybe we’re afraid of what’s next. Maybe we need to wrestle with something before we can let it go.
I’m calling this post “Still In The Eating Phase,” because it really is just a phase. The heartache, frustration, impatience, fear–whatever we feel about our situations–is just a part of the whole of our lives. We can go ahead and be in the good/bad/ugly of it. We can decide not to spend too much time there. Then we can find a way to let it go, even if it’s a little at a time, even through our sobs or our rages. (Heck, I am the biggest kicker and screamer I know. God has to sometimes drag me by the ear ’til I finally make the change, the change I asked for.) I say:
Go for it! Embrace where you are. Become ready to let it go.
Then, go do what you love.
Feeling my feelings is one of the tools in my healing toolbox. It’s an ever-growing arsenal. What phase are you in? What are your go-to helps? Comment or Email. You may say something that someone really needs to hear.
An interesting article: “Are You Addicted To Unhappiness?”
To buy the book, click here: Eat Pray Love