Leaving “Home,” Part 2

Alternate post title:
If You Thought Yesterday’s Post was New-Agey and Weird, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!

Consider yourself warned, LOL.

So, getting what I’m afraid of, simply because I’m afraid of it.  And then being somehow, in some weird way, ok with that, even though I HATE it, because it’s what I’m used to.  Recognizing that it’s sort a form of “home,” and that at some point we all have to leave home.  That’s pretty much the end of Part 1.  Ok?

OK.

See, here’s the thing.  I believe that we all have a set of lessons we’re supposed to be learning while we’re here.  And I don’t think they’re general lessons (we should all learn to be kinder, more tolerant, blah, blah, blah).  I think they are individual-specific (*points* you! learn kindness! *points* you! learn faith!  blah, blah, blah).  In order to learn those things we have to be put into situations where we don’t fit.  We have to be born into families who don’t love us in the way that we need to be loved.  Or maybe our family loves us perfectly, but our first boyfriend/girlfriend damages us.  Or maybe our school chums (hee – I said “chums” – I’m British!) hate us.  Whatever.  We all sustain damage, and damage is necessary for growth.  (Insert lame cliche about breaking down to build up or about fertilizer on flowers here.)  But pay attention, because this is an important point: DAMAGE IS A GOOD THING.  Damage is what allows us to change.  It’s only when our “home” is damaged in some way that we’re motivated to leave it.  And by “home” I mean any attitude or situation that is hurtful or uncomfortable to us in some way.  Figurative homes as well as literal ones. 

All of this ties in (for me) to what I was saying yesterday about focusing on what I don’t want.  I keep getting the things I’m afraid of, because those things are more real to me than the alternative that I DO want.  I literally cannot imagine my life without food issues.  CANNOT.  IMAGINE.  IT.  Who will I be, if I’m not this person? 

And at the same time, I don’t like myself now.  That’s an improvement from not too long ago, when I hated myself with a fiery passion, but it’s still not a great place to be.  It’s so easy to focus on the things I don’t like instead of the things I DO like, especially when most days, there isn’t a lot that I like.  But that just means I get more of what I don’t like.  It’s a vicious cycle.

(Odd, but related tangent – when I diet, I gain weight.  When I was eating intuitively, i didn’t particularly LOSE weight, but I was pretty stable – and I was stable eating a lot more than I’d been eating when I was dieting.  But (back to the Law of Attraction and getting what you fear) when I was dieting, I was more conscious of what I didn’t like about my body.  So I’m thinking I got what I feared.  And when I ate intuitively, I wasn’t so worried about/afraid of my weight.  So I wasn’t attracting what I feared.  Does that make sense?)

So, leaving home.  The thing is, we can’t run screaming from what we don’t want, because it just chases us – we’re too invested in being angry, scared, whatever about it.  We’re too emotionally wrapped up.  And then we hear about how we should be GRATEFUL, and most days I feel like, “Grateful for WHAT?  For the bingeing?  For the self-hate?  For the fucked-up attitudes and whatever else that I can’t think of a name for right now, but totally SUCKS?  Grateful for THAT?”  And I realized in the last couple of days that the answer to those questions is YES.

Carolyn Myss has a set of audio CDs called “Energy Anatomy,” (which I highly recommend).  I’ve listened to them a lot, but you know how sometimes you realize something that you’ve heard or read over and over, but you suddenly really GET it?  I had that experience yesterday.  She says that you have to be grateful to your home for being exactly what you DIDN’T need, so that you could grow. 

Think about that for a minute.  I had to.  And to me, it suddenly meant that being grateful doesn’t mean loving the fact that I binge.   I suddenly realized that I don’t have to love something to be grateful for it – and that’s the key to letting go of the worry, the fear, all those things that are bringing me exactly what I don’t want.  I can look at the things I don’t love about myself and say, “Thank you so much for being exactly what I DIDN’T need – so that I could learn how to move on.”  Honestly, that sentiment evokes a whole different feeling in my body than just hating it outright does.  I feel calmer.  I feel more peaceful.  I feel more TOGETHER somehow, less dissociated.  It IS a form of loving the bad stuff, but it’s not the same as resigning myself to it.

On a parallel note, I can’t help but notice that in my efforts to get away from one “home,” I’ve just been seeking other “homes.”  I bounce from diet to diet, hoping one holds the Key.  I bounce from group to group, community to community, looking for acceptance and a place to fit in.  But of course, no one thing is everything to me, and so I somehow end up blaming MYSELF instead of looking to the outside source and recognizing that NOTHING will ever be everything.  I build families (figuratively speaking) everywhere I go, and then wonder why none of them are perfect. 

Remember those life lessons I mentioned above?  I honestly think that one of my lessons is to learn to be an individual instead of part of a group.  Being part of a group feels so much safer to me and it’s where I’d rather be, but it’s not where I’m SUPPOSED to be.  And as it pertains to food and weight, I want a diet.  I don’t trust my own judgement to figure it out on my own.  I don’t think I’m capable of it.  I don’t WANT to, because it’s hard.  And, perhaps most importantly, if I fail on my own, I have no one to blame.

That last part is really the kicker for me: that “no one to blame” bit.  If I stand on my own, not just with food, but with ANY scenario, then there’s no one to blame if I fail.  And i wonder: what will I do if I fail?  What if I really am A Failure?  What if all the things I’ve ever been afraid of are true?  What if they’re not shadows in the dark, but in fact have substance?  WHAT IF MY WORST VIEWS OF MYSELF ARE IN FACT THE REALITY?? 

And that brings me back to the idea of “home.”  The idea that I don’t like where I’m at, but it’s somehow comfortable.  That I’m afraid of striking out on my own because I might succeed . . . or I might NOT.  And I’d like to say that I don’t really think I’ll fail . . . but that small, snarky voice in the back of my head is persuasive and persistent.  I know intellectually that it’s a liar, but it plays on all the right fears.  Striking out my own is operating without a safety net.  The flip side of course, is that any success are MINE! ALL MINE! too.  😉  That part doesn’t suck.  LOL

The OTHER thing I can’t help thinking about is how, on a metaphysical level, the care and feeding of myself, according to my own rules, is a brilliant metaphor for becoming an individual.  What is more personal, more unable to fit into an outside framework, than how we feed ourselves?  Seriously, it forces me to listen to my OWN body – not what Weight Watchers thinks I should eat, not what South Beach thinks I should eat, not what Atkins or Pritikin or Dean Ornish think I should eat.  I’m totally accountable.

So, yeah.  This was kind of ramble-y and all over the place, but I couldn’t make it go together any better.  So tonight, this is what you get.  LOL

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5 responses to “Leaving “Home,” Part 2

  1. I have this problem too – the sense of not being quite whole unless you can identify yourself as a part of a larger thing.

    Like needing to have a role within a group in order to identify yourself in terms of the people around you, I always need to do this. I guarantee you this is why I’ve always been in bands – when I tried to go solo even though my record sold ten times more than anything else I’ve done, I just freaked out and junked it. I couldn’t be on my own. I didn’t feel strong enough. I like being in my band because I get to be the silly girly one. I like being in the office because I get to be the sarcastic clever one. And again with the blogging – it’s another group of people to affiliate myself with. To feel good because I KNOW THESE ARE GOOD, INELLIGENT PEOPLE and they LIKE ME and understand me, so therefore I must be a good person too. It’s a comforting logic.

    Of course everybody does this, it’s normal. Everybody needs to see themselves in terms of the others around them in order to know who they are. But those among us who already struggle with self-doubt end up with this fear that if you take these people around you away then you remove your own value completely. You vanish. You become insignificant.

    We know in our rational minds that this fear is ludicrous.

    And yet it persists.

    TA x

  2. DAMN WOMAN. the post. TA’s comment.

    my OLDASSWOMAN thought? I get the entire post. completely. and see you MY relationship realm.
    in that I couldnt get married/have a healthy relationship until I was more happy on my own.

    it took getting to that HAPPY AS NOT PART OF A GROUP PLACE in all areas for me (whew. longhardwork —worth it!) and then LOVING that soloplace and then meeting someone worth surrendering my solitude.

    too off topic?

  3. TA, EXACTLY. Especially the part about how everyone does it, but some of us . . . get a little carried away. The other thing I’ve noticed (don’t know if you do this, too) is that if I agree with a majority of what the group-think is (especially if it’s a group I have a lot of respect for), that instead of being glad that I found the group, I wonder what’s wrong with me that I don’t agree 100% with them. And then I try to mold myself into their viewpoints to conform 100%. Which, of course, is a recipe for FREAKIN’ DISASTER. LOL – kind of.

    Miz, not at all off-topic. Personally, I have to be careful not to “lose” myself in a relationship, for exactly the reasons I mentioned above to TA. I catch myself trying SO HARD to be what I THINK the other person wants me to be – I even convince myself that I REALLY FEEL THAT WAY – and of course, by doing that, I cause the whole thing to blow up in my face.

  4. and interesting that Im so a rebel.
    in that if I feel that the other person/friend/whatev (PARENT?) wants me to be something soooo badly I tend to swing the other way.

    immature much? 🙂

  5. LOL! Miz, you and me both! 🙂

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