The recent realizations I have made have led me to a rebirth of sorts. I’m feeling new feelings and actually experiencing some self acceptance rather than just talking about it. I’ve gotta say, it’s a great feeling!
I wanted to share with you an AHA moment I had the other morning. (Keep in mind that my cultish religion would constantly remind me, 24/7, that I was condemned to hell and could never be good enough.)
I got out of bed like I do every morning and I went to the dog bowl and fed the dog. I went from the dog bowl to the shower to start running the water. I woke up still knowing that I had to release myself from these erroneous beliefs I had so entrenched in my heart. I had not slept well because I was making all these new realizations about the pseudo-Christianity I had been raised by but I was also too excited to sleep because I had found someone online (actually several people) who had experienced exactly what I did and had been freed from the constant feeling of condemnation. A whole new world was opening up for me.
So I’m standing in the shower and I start telling myself, “You’re forgiven. You’re forgiven. You’re forgiven.” I say that over and over like other affirmations I’ve used the past few years. And that’s when it hit me! “Why are you even trying to convince yourself you’re forgiven when you haven’t even gotten out the door yet! You haven’t done anything wrong!” That’s when that giant lightbulb went off!! That’s when I realized I was starting a new day…a new life…I had a new outlook! I had not done one damn thing to make myself feel guilty yet I was still asking for forgiveness in that I was trying to convince myself I was forgiven.
That’s how programmed and brainwashed I have been. I woke up feeling guilty. I wouldn’t step foot on the ground without feeling guilty. What kind of life is that? It’s a life of fear and dread.
Now some of you may ask, “why is she posting about this ‘religious’ stuff on a blog about fat acceptance and intuitive eating/living.”
I am a compulsive overeater. I know there are fat folks out there who do not have “issues” but I am one who does. I have issues out the wazoo and the way I’ve coped all these years has been to numb out and to avoid feelings by diverting my energy and thoughts to eating and food. I’ve pussyfooted around this religion issue for so many years because I don’t think I’ve had the strength to really tackle it until now. I believe that this issue with my former religion is the crux of my emotional distress and until I confront it head on I won’t be able to move forward in my recovery.
I have to take a minute here to make clear to everyone that my goal is not to lose weight…my goal is to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. I do, however, think that once I get to the core of the religion issue and free myself of the condemnation, I’ll be able to move forward in every aspect of my life. I believe that I eat to cover the intense emotion of failure and unworthiness. If I can get through that barrier I’ve built around myself I think I’ll be better able to truly care for myself.
My thought processes to this point have been similar to: You’re going to hell anyway so why care what you eat or how much? OR Everyone thinks your worthless anyway so dig in. OR Your father thinks you’re a slut so build this BIG wall around your body so no one will want to touch you. OR If you make yourself miserable with food it can serve as your punishment for not being perfect.
So do you see now how this could be a huge breakthrough for me? Self care and listening to my own body has been alien to me. Someone else was always leading my thought processes. Of course, now I’m seeing where the choice is mine on how to live my life. I think another reason I’ve put off working on this issue is the fear of failure once again. I’ve been led to believe that I “can’t” make the best decision for myself, that I need someone to always direct me and tell me if my decision is right. I’ve never been led to believe that I can trust my own intuition.
So that’s why I’m talking about religion on this blog. The number one reason is because AGR and I agreed when we first started this blog that we would use it to better ourselves and to further our recovery. Another reason is because I see a huge correlation in the rules and judgments of my past religion to the “religion of dieting” – so many do’s and don’ts, rights and wrongs, leaving no room for human imperfection or intutiveness on the part of the individual.
I can tell you that since I’ve blogged about this particular issue, it feels as if a burden has been lifted from my heart. I see mornings in a whole new light and see each day as a new beginning instead of a continuation of guilt from the days, months and years in my past. My outlook on life is the best now that I believe it’s ever been.
If you’ve made it through yet another long and rambling post of mine, my thanks go out to you. Thank you for being there with me and supporting me.