What Are You Avoiding?

Human beings avoid.

We avoid our lives and ourselves by fixating on food, tv, gossip, or turning to drugs, alcohol, fantasy, excuses, workaholism, and even relationship addiction.

Our biggest life defense mechanism is avoidance. And it is a nasty beast.

There is nothing wrong with having pleasures in your life. And of course, you know there is nothing wrong with food. But when we are avoiding our lives, those perfectly fine activities and vices turn into a shield, a crutch, and a drug.

One of the biggest assets you can have in your recovery with food, is a willingness to stop avoiding. A willingness to face yourself, right where you are, without nasty judgment.

Stop avoiding how you feel, stop avoiding what you want, stop avoiding your own power in your life, stop avoiding everything. And please: stop judging yourself and turning it into a vicious cycle.

I know it sounds simplistic, but it is true. Once you stop avoiding the scarier things in your life, you will develop a sort of resilience, a willingness to be alive. A comfortability with discomfort. A fearlessness with the fear you cannot avoid.

The things we are scared of aren’t actually as horrible as we make them out to be while we are avoiding them.

What does this have to do with eating? EVERYTHING. 

If you are willing to begin, very simply, by dealing with things as they are now. That includes your body, but everything else also, your healing will be real, profound, and lasting. Your eating isn’t happening in a vacuum. It is a symptom of the way we are going through life. It is the fallout of a fearful relationship with life.

Your emotions feel impossible to live with, so you stuff them away and distract yourself, but they are not impossible.

I have become so great at dealing with things as they come up. Rolling with the punches and expanding my capacity to feel and my willingness to deal. I like to ask myself “what am I avoiding now?”, and then I go DEAL with that thing.

But this past week I have been avoiding everything. Letting things pile up. Ignoring what I need to do. Being too tired to deal with how I feel. Watching more television than usual. Fighting off an illness my sister had over Thanksgiving. Feeling unable to deal with things as they come up. That’s ok. That happens. It is life.

This is life. Up and down. Fluctuating. The only thing I can do, and we can do, is realize and accept that it is temporary. I am going to clean my room. And then I am going to throw out the chicken soup I made that doesn’t taste good.

Fuck It.