Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Thorn

I can’t claim credit for today’s tidbit of wisdom…I write only to serve as a reminder to myself and possibly a conduit to others. From the yoga instructor tonight at PAI Yoga:

Imagine you have a thorn in your arm, stuck there. That is your inner disturbance. There are two ways to approach this thorn. You can try to avoid it. When you go for a walk in the park, you can cut down all the tree branches to ensure that they do not hit your arm where the thorn is and cause you pain. You can go to the market very early in the morning or very late at night, so that crowds of people do not jostle the thorn. When you love someone, you can worry about how you are going to share a bed with them in such a way that they do not bump the thorn in your arm. You can choose to live your life around the thorn.

Or you can press the thorn deeper for a moment, and pull it out.

Oof. Sometimes God whispers…and sometimes He speaks in the softly lisping voice of your yoga instructor. Trying to decide what to do with my thorn…

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I met God today.

Image

I pulled over by some railroad tracks to shoot today’s self-portraits, which was a slightly scary experience because I tend to get dangerously single-minded when shooting. (One would hope that I would notice a shrieking train whistle and rattling tracks, but…you never quite know.) I was on my belly trying for a ground-level shot when I noticed an old man walking toward me. (That is the moment captured in the above photo.)

My initial one was of fear. Oh no, I’m in trouble. I quickly jumped to my feet, ready to explain, rationalize, justify. Like Adam and Eve in the garden. But the first words out of the old man’s mouth were, “Are you okay?”

Concern. Not condemnation. Not control. Concern. Of late, I’ve found myself cringing pre-emptively from the next slap in the face. Because of all the people who drove by without a second glance. Or wolf-whistled from their cars. The people and places and parts of me that I’ve lost or had taken from me. To be perfectly honest, I don’t quite trust the universe right now. Or myself.

But this perfect stranger cared enough to pull over and risk his own safety walking along the side of the road and the railroad tracks to see if I was all right. He even offered to help me after I explained my project. I had no intention of self-harm, of course, but if I had, his intervention would have saved my life. As it was, it was a living, and rather badly needed, reminder that I matter.

True confession lest anyone run away with the delusion that I just walk through life having mystical encounters with the divine: my second thought after, “Oh shoot, I’m in trouble,” was “Dangit, you ruined my shot!” (Priorities, priorities, I know.) But once I realized that he was truly worried about me, I decided that perfection could easily take a backseat to gratitude.

Shantih, namaste, and amen.

The time has come, the walrus said

This has gone on long enough…over two and a half years now, and I don’t want to see that become two and a half decades. It’s time to be honest, because hiding has done me no favors. Do I believe that throwing myself into the light, hot and blinding as it may be, is what I ultimately need?

Day 0

What Do We Need?

Each of us suffering with or recovering with an Eating Disorder may feel deep down that there is something we are missing within ourselves, or something that we need from someone that we aren’t getting. (love, friendship, attention, independence, understanding, validation, etc. etc.)

Who is it you need something from? Is it yourself or someone else (if someone else tell us who — your friends, a family member, your father or mother, a spouse, etc.)?

I need something from myself, my parents, and my friends.

What is it you think you need?

I know that I need to accept myself for who I am without losing sight of the best self I am becoming. I think I need my parents to express their love and approval and affection more openly. I know I need my friends to listen and speak truth in my life when I can’t see and hear it for myself. And I think I need a man to find me beautiful.

Name three or more constructive ways you can get what you need!

  • I can journal about the positive things I am learning about myself.
  • I can accept and respect my need to introspect.
  • I can practice conscious gratitude.
  • I can open up to friends about my struggles.
  • I can seek safe company when being alone is overwhelming or unsafe.
  • I can give myself credit for doing–or trying–any of the above and other healthy coping mechanisms I have learned over the years.