FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
“AS FOR THE FUTURE, YOUR TASK IS NOT TO FORESEE IT BUT TO ENABLE IT.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I used to be a person who made “to do” lists that I carried around in a day planner which I would then look at often to remind myself where I wanted to be. However, as life took me on unexpected twists and turns, I abandoned my “to do” lists because I felt the future seemed so uncertain that I didn’t believe that I could actually plan for it. Much to my surprise, control freak that I was for a very long time, began to slowly ease up on my tight grip of trying to control how events turned out. I still don’t like surprises in almost anything but I have learned to “go with the flow”. If I end up someplace other than I had planned, I quickly “size up” the situation I am in and decide how I am going to deal with the immediate “here and now” knowing that what action I take will ultimately determine how the future is being shaped.
So, what does this have to do with emotional eating? Well, for me, it meant that I had to work more at acceptance of what “is” and letting go more of what “isn’t”. When I practice this I have more peace within my soul. When I have more peace within my soul, I have less need to fill in the blank spaces that exist there with extra food, “more stuff” and “being busy”.
By the way, I live with someone who does not accept life on life’s terms as easy as I have learned to do. I watch him get frustrated, resist what is going to happen whether he likes it or not, and ultimately wear himself out with all of the energy he has expended “swimming upstream”. I have a lot of compassion for him. Things could be so much easier for him “if only” he worked with life instead of against it.
Fear causes us to want to control and hold on tightly.
Worry means we feel we know the outcome before the process is completed and because of our demands we want it the way we want it, not how it might “best be”.
Trust causes us to relax and release whatever the Universe wants to bring to us and for us.
Patience allows us to wait while this “flow” moves through us, around us and in us.
I am reminded of a wonderful line in the movie “Out of Africa”. Meryl Streep’s character has been trying to mold the African wilderness to become a working tobacco farm. She even has a local river dammed and rerouted so that it will bring the necessary water to her farm. When Mother Nature washes out the dam and the river begins to flow its natural course, she sighs and says, “Let it have its own way as it always has.”
I don’t see this moment in the film as admitting defeat but more of accepting that some things just aren’t meant to be nor will never be. Some cynics would say “Mother Nature always wins.” I would like to say that Mother Nature is so perfect and complete that it doesn’t need to either “win or lose”, according to our arbitrary standards. It just simply is.
So, now all I plan for are the “intangibles” (but very real nonetheless) like loving more, forgiving more, experiencing more and believing more.
What has any of this got to do with arresting emotional eating? Everything! Think about it.