Posted by: innerpilgrimage | July 15, 2010

Just For Today, I’m Working the Mental and Spiritual

      Right now, I am having a disturbing lack of desire to work on Step Eight.

      I think I’m going to go back to the Sufi texts I wrote about a few weeks ago and read them. Perhaps working my spiritual and mental recovery will rekindle the willingness. I’m getting a little lazy with setting up the recording of my food plan, and it’s probably got more to do with my mental stuff right now than my physical stuff. But it needs to be done, and the ho-hum laissez-faire attitude about drawing the basic daily chart up is putting me in a position where I am facing off with stuff I need to balance in my head and soul.
      And also, I think my Higher Power is guiding me back there, since it was an idea that just popped into my head with no real guiding desire except the awareness that I am having trouble working the other two sides of recovery. Instead of an equilateral triangle, I find myself facing a severely obtuse one. Happily, I do have some mental recovery. This has been reflected in my ability to let go of arbitrary self-judgment about my size equaling my attractiveness. I also was able to let go of a very big self-delusion–that I need to be 125 lbs. to be attractive. I don’t. In fact, I don’t really need to be “attractive”, by general aesthetic standards.
      Don’t get me wrong. Taking care of myself is very important, now. I am not as aggressive as I could be about it to get to a level of self-care that I want. But my basics are that I take a shower daily (yeah, okay, sometimes I slip into compulsion on that and skip a day), that I tweeze my chin and face (though I’ve let my brows get bushy because I’m a whiner), and that I shave my legs regularly (which I don’t do, even though I prefer having bare legs because it feels nicer). I don’t always put on sunblock (something I need to do daily, especially for my face and throat, considering where I live), and I don’t always use lotion (though I tend to lotion my elbows regularly, since I hate how they feel sandpapery when they’re dry). I don’t often wear make-up, and I rarely use hair products outside of shampoo and conditioner–despite having a haircut that really encourages mousse use to get the most out of the shaping. These are things I am opening myself up to, trying to fit them into my lifestyle. The basic clean body, lotion, and excess hair removal regime really does need to become an unswerving daily habit so I can add the other parts (like hair shaping and weekly home-done facials) and make looking and feeling my best physically a daily thing.
      I don’t always open up the Sufi mantra of loving myself (Dang, it sounds so egomaniacal to write that!). Of course, if I love myself, I can give love to others. It’s the purest of ironies to me, that I can accept others more readily when I am not worried about how others perceive me. I always thought I was more forgiving of others, but I find that–although that is true technically–I have been very harsh on people. Maybe not as harsh as I am on myself, but I was (and can be) hard on others when they’re “imperfect”. Or high-and-mighty in my benevolence, as though my opinion of them really freakin’ matters!
      I also am trying to embrace the purpose-driven gift that I think “God” has given me. People talk to me. It’s hard sometimes, because I often feel trapped standing there for so many reasons. I fear the person will find me a phoney who doesn’t care; I am more comfortable being isolated; I am focused on my problems over theirs; I really don’t want to touch or be touched sometimes. I know this is a good thing to do, and to practice it will make it easier to overcome what I know is compulsive thinking.
      I want to be of service. I want to be humble and generous with my time and heart. I want to listen with empathy and sympathy. I want to stand there and acknowledge that another human being is standing before me, often suffering. I don’t know often when to be quiet and when to speak up any more. I usually spoke up and told people how to run their lives. Well, I am struggling with my own, and I have no real advice to give. That’s a big change from me even a year ago. Heck, I still am like that when I’m in compulsive-thinking mode!
      Something I’ve found that’s been changing, also, is that I just don’t want to swear as much. It’s not a big deal. I will drop f-bombs when I talk (and am in compulsion), but I think about the kids around and I don’t like the idea of using my words so inefficiently. If I am supposed to be a person people can talk to, words are going to be my greatest tools. How can I really be open if I use show-stopping shockers that distract from any conversation I have with people?
      Not that I don’t use them with people who do. It’s a level of conversational familiarity I have with actually quite a few people. I guess it comes down to situational appropriateness. If I know someone closely enough to use blue language with them because it expresses our ideas more efficiently, then it’s not detrimental. After all, we disempower words by using them and removing their exclusive status.
      I dunno. My public self is going to be far less expletive, though. But if you get into the inner sanctum and we have an unsaid agreement that those words work to express complex thoughts in less words, then I’m gonna use them.
      Lots of self-examination today. That’s good. I have found, in my experience, that friction means growth. When things go too smoothly, I feel like I’m not really growing as a human being. A little friction is good, because I can maintain serenity while growing. Of course, I don’t know if it’s my martyr-self needing that even slight negativity to prove to myself that I am growing. Or my perfectionist self needing a feeling of forward motion. Or my caretaker self needing something to fix. Whatever the source, if it comes down to the friction being bad in the end, I can give it up, too. Of course, there are many things which will happen in my life which will make the ability to deal with real life trouble a positive. While I face off with small friction, I am able to practice giving up control with an efficiency I want to maintain when the big stuff comes. And it will. Life is not clean at all. But while I have the gift of being given less than I can handle, I am going to appreciate it and use it for what it is: an opportunity to practice giving control of things I cannot control over to my Higher Power and finding the ability to help others through whatever means and purpose my Higher Power has given to me.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. I’m off to learn more, to change my perception of reality so that I can pursue a life of usefulness to my Higher Power and to my fellows like the Seventh Step Prayer petitions our Higher Powers to help us do.

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