It was close to ten years ago now, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
The clock would strike 3pm and I’d be ready to binge. I’d get in my car, drive to the store and and buy -with the intention to eat- everything I possibly could.
Savoury. Sweet. Salty. A mix of all three and everything in between.
The urge would strike and I would feel at a loss. I would feel like I had to eat, or else. I would feel like nothing and no one could stand in my way, or else.
Despite how awful I felt, and how hard I tried, nothing seemed to get through to me. I’d do it again, and again, and again. Before I knew it, I had innocently created a habit that I thought was beyond my control.
I tried promising myself I’d never do it again. I tried beating myself up for doing it. I tried throwing it up. I tried throwing my credit cards away.
I. Tried. Everything.
It wasn’t until one morning, I woke up very sick and very tired that everything changed. It was the kind of rock bottom that makes miracles happen.
I woke up so tired of being so sick, and so tired, that I decided to take a stand. I decided right then and there to take charge and claim my life back in such a way that I was in the driver’s seat. I decided that from that day forward, I was going to be the one to call the shots.
And you know what dear Warrior? Making the decision to take my power back and beat bulimia is the same way I have seen my way out of so many other habits, including anxiety. (I say “habit” because it’s your brain’s pattern- not yours).
What I didn’t know all those years ago when I spent so many days and evenings excessively trying to run off my bingeing habit, was that I had a choice.
I didn’t realize that there was a difference between Me and my mind, I thought we were one and the same. I didn’t realize that there was a difference between my habitual thoughts and Me, I thought we were one and the same. I didn’t realize at the time was that there was a difference between my urges and Me, I thought we were one and the same.
But several kicked habits later, several addictions later, several compulsive behaviours later, I came to realize just how (innocently) wrong I was.
I was completely in the dark, (until I wasnt), about having a choice in the matter.
I didn’t realize that regardless of how strong the urges were, or how compelling my minds suggestions were, or how out of control I felt, that I was actually in charge.
I didn’t realize that I could experience and that I could be aware of my minds ideas about bingeing and not actually listen to them.
Our minds form habits as a means of actually trying to take care of us. We feel bad, and they suggest something to help us feel better. Just like when I was bingeing, I was feeling bad, and my mind suggested I have something to eat, and before I knew it, a “feel better” habit was born. The urge would strike, and I’d buy into it.
I was (and am) human. I was doing the best I could with the thinking I had, that’s all we can ever do.
But my miraculous rock bottom taught me that we have a choice. I chose to no longer obey my urges and I chose to create a better life for myself.
We can see and feel and experience our thoughts, whether they’re in the form of urges, or anxiousness, or whatever content they’re made up of, but we are not them. We do not have to listen to them and we are in no way obliged to follow them.
In the most gentle way possible Warriors, Not. Even. Close.
We can choose to say thanks brain, I love you, but no thanks.
Who we are by nature, is habit free. Who we are by nature, is a clear and clean slate. Who we are by nature, has all of the wisdom, all of the clarity, and all of the love we need to embrace our minds ideas and then politely dismiss them. Who we are by nature is made of enough heart and enough intuition for us to know that if we simply wait it out, if we simply greet our urges/anxeities with compassion, if we simply empower ourselves with this awareness to do so, we can allow our minds urges and ideas to be heard, but not followed. Repetitive thoughts that don’t feel so good, are merely the result of us innocently giving power to our minds and not our hearts. Simply put, that’s all. When we don’t feel like ourselves, it’s simply an indication that our minds’ are busy, and our attention would be better directed toward the upper left side of our chest.
I didn’t realize that it was my mind that had innocently formed a habit, and that it could talk to me all day every day, or every day at 3pm about food, but I didn’t have to listen.
My wisdom eventually hit me smack dab in the face and told Me to wake up. It eventually told Me that I was far too clever and far too wise to allow this habit to continue to make me eat until my stomach hurt. And it eventually told me that I did have the power, and I did have the ability to make my own decisions based from a place of love; my natural state before and underneath my habit. But it took a while. It took me enduring enough pain until I got to my breaking point.
And that is why I am passing on this incredibly insightful piece of knowledge to you. Whether it’s habitual thought records anxiously playing over in your mind. Or a habit of worrying over the little things. Or a habit of binge eating, or whatever it is; thought or behavioral, I want you to know and feel and understand, that you too have a choice.
Sometimes choosing looks like believing in yourself day in and day out when you can’t see clearly. Sometimes choosing looks like having compassion for yourself when you fall down. Sometimes choosing looks like staying home in your pjs and releasing the pressure through tears.
It’s more of an act of surrender, and an act of love, than anything.
There are so many different ways of choosing to take your power back, but my whole point is that you can. It is possible.
I know it doesn’t always feel like it, honestly Warrior, I do. And I can certainly appreciate how difficult it sometimes feels when our records play, or our urges strike, but please know that who you are is so much bigger, and so much wiser, and so much more capable of running your life than your habit ever will be.
Think of it this way, like a tree. Now there’s some amazing trees out there, but it’s not their leaves and branches that continue to help them grow and change, it’s the system underneath. It’s their roots that empower their ability to keep going, to grow taller, and to adapt accordingly.
And like the tree dear Warrior, your root system is your natural state of wisdom and well being, love and intuition. At the very essence of your being is your ability to empower yourself up and through your roots to your limbs, to your mind and to your heart, to choose to keep going, to choose to transform, to choose to live a life less ordinary, all the while infusing your life from a place of love.
Please, take it from Me, it doesn’t have to feel hard, let your mind do it’s thing, while you stay true to doing yours.