I went back to meditation last night, although it was back to a chair because I managed to fall again and bruise up my ribs, which means the idea of sitting on the ground right now is just out of the question. Last night, we learned about self-grasping and the role it plays in our problems. Self-grasping is the belief that we might hold that everything that happens is most important in relation to how it affects ourselves. So an example that was given had to do with being caught in traffic because of an accident. If I am stuck in traffic due to an accident, and all I am worried about is how late it is going to make me for an appointment, that is self-grasping. It means that my first thought was not about the person who was in the accident. I don’t necessarily want to be someone who is not concerned about someone who has been in an accident that is keeping me from getting where I am going. But it’s pretty common, apparently.
We also learned about how, when we believe negative things about ourselves, these negative things are really falsehoods. At our centers, we are unlimited potential, but there are figments of our imaginations that cause us to feel anxiety or anger or other negative emotions. We tend to identify with these emotions, but really these emotions are not us. I really feel this in relation to ED (my disordered eating). My therapist reminds me again and again that there is more to life than the size of my pants and the number on my scale. And intellectually, I know that. I know that my worth as a person cannot be summed up as a number of any kind. However, it is not easy to remember that when I catch sight of myself in a mirror. The reaction I have in that moment is completely knee-jerk, and it is not to remind myself that I am unlimited potential. It’s to point out to myself that I am fat. Some people suggest treating yourself and speaking to yourself as if you were your inner child, which is similar. Showing compassion to ourselves and realizing that these self-grasping beliefs are not who we really are seem pretty similar to me. It’s okay to notice them, but then they have to be let go.
Anyway, this can also be related to relationships with other people. If we find someone difficult to relate to, it might be because his or her unlimited potential is being clouded by one of these falsehoods, and if we can stay with the idea of the unlimited potential of everyone, including ourselves, at some point we can achieve a calm and peaceful mind. It gave me a lot to think about, as well as some fodder for therapy today, as it really kind of seems to fit so well with some of the body image stuff that I continue to struggle with.
In other news…
I had someone say something to me the other day at the gym that was sort of eye-opening for me. We were talking about junk food, basically, and I mentioned (rather flippantly) that it was okay to treat yourself once in a while. The person I was talking to said, “Well, no, it isn’t for me because I have an addiction.” I loved that she just put it out there like that because binge eating really does feel like an addiction, but since it’s about food, which we all need, it’s a really hard addiction to kick. Anyway, I shared with her that there had been a point where I had lost 75 pounds, but since my separation and subsequent divorce, I had gained some of that weight back. And her reaction was this: “NO! Do not let him take that from you.” I realized that I am still really affected by the ending of my marriage, in ways that I don’t think I should be anymore. Taking that a little further, when I shared this story with my therapist today, she had an interesting question for me. She asked me if I would rather be at my goal weight and still married or if I would rather be the weight I am now but not in that marriage anymore. At my goal weight and not in that marriage anymore was not one of the options she offered, and I was able to honestly say that I would rather be out of that marriage and at my current size. That is the first time ever that I have consciously chosen anything over my desire to be a certain size.
Anyway, this process continues. I have stopped looking for a quick fix, for the most part, although the urge to go on a crazy diet to lose some weight is sometimes still strong. I am trying to pay attention to my food without paying too much attention to it. I am trying to remember that the things that ED says to me are not the truth about me. I am trying to remember that the person I was when I was a child was someone filled with unlimited potential and that she is still inside me. And I am still so happy to have an awesome therapist on my side and access to a meditation class that I am finding very meaningful.