A Few Lessons I’ve Learned: Binge Eating & Religion

It’s been years since I’ve left binge eating behind.  It feels like a distant memory of who I used to be.  And in the last year I’ve also had another big change that I wasn’t expecting to happen…

The Religion of my birth.  I’ve left it.quotewater

And as painful as it’s been, I knew it was what my soul was calling for.  It’s opened up an avenue of growth that wouldn’t have been possible in staying.  I’m not promoting the abandonment of religion, it can truly be a beautiful avenue of growth.  However, for myself, the more I studied and learned, the more I knew in my gut, I had to leave.

In my choice of leaving, I’ve learned (and am still learning!) a few lessons along the way.  I’m sure the list will continue to grow and change, but as of now, here are a few lessons I’ve learned and am practicing.  While they may apply to my experience in my recent life change, they have also been a part of my journey in creating peace with my body and food.

I find that I continue to learn the ‘same’ things, but my understanding deepens and I find different ways of applying them to my life’s journey.

I hope that my ‘lessons’ may inspire and be helpful to you in whatever point you are in your life’s journey.

Relying on outside sources for ‘rules’ dampens our ability to hear our inner voice of wisdom.

When we consistently default to an outside source for our answers, we lose touch with our inner wisdom that leads us to fulfillment.

Being born and raised in a religion that was ‘true’ and has ‘all’ the ‘answers’ – it was natural for me to turn to an outer authority for any and all answers.  If I had a question or concern, I would look to the doctrine that I had been taught and base my decision on that.

We can find ourselves in this same dynamic with food – with what we should or shouldn’t eat according to someone else.  If you find yourself holding to ‘food rules’ from an outside source, culture, or diet – you may find that you will have to ignore your body’s cues for what it needs.  While you can take bits and pieces from outside sources – it’s wise to see how YOUR body responds and what works for you.

As I found my way back to my inner wisdom via food and my body – I found a deeper yearning for more connection to my higher self.

While there were other catalysts involved in leaving my religion – my yearning for this connection helped me step away from old dogma that was damaging to my soul and perpetuating the cycle of living in shame and fear.

Your own version of Spirituality is just as valid as anyone else’s.

When a person’s spiritual path nutures their growth while honoring others to do the same, it’s a win in my book!

My version of spirituality is probably different than yours – as it should be.  We are different and unique in amazing and beautiful ways.  Mine isn’t any more valid than yours or vice versa.

If religion works for you, and you can stay plugged into your inner wisdom – then stay and flourish there.

In the same regard – if eating mostly vegetarian works for your body, then do it.  For my body – I feel better with animal protein as part of my options to choose from.  Neither approach is better – when you’ve tuned into what your body (remember that is different than your mind chatter!) is asking for, you are the right path for you.

Reaching out for support from someone who understands is… Amazing!

We are all human, and need support.  We can be so close to our ‘stories’ that sometimes it’s hard to see that it’s only a ‘story’ we’ve bought into.

When I made the choice to leave my religion, it was painful.  And I felt like a part of me was dying.  I had to go through a grieving process.  I had to grieve the loss of what I thought my life was going to be.  I had reframe the meaning I had given life and explore my own inner soul.

I had been so wrapped up in religion, that it had become a deep part of my identity.  I had to reach out to someone who understood what I was going through to get support in processing the change and releasing the old.

Through support groups and a coach, I learned that “I” – am not a belief.  I am me, the one who observes my beliefs, my body, my emotions, and my life.  And all those things can change, but what doesn’t change is that “I” am still in here.  That part of me is constant and unchanging.  And peace is always available there.

In creating peace with your body and food – support is a HUGE key in the process.  To know that you are not alone and that you don’t have to be stuck anymore is AMAZING.

Flow with life instead of resisting it.

Life always gets harder when we fight with reality!  When I realized I couldn’t have ‘faith’ anymore – I fought with that reality.  I didn’t want to accept the change that it meant for my life.  I prayed more, studies harder, and searched for answers to make it all ‘true’.  When I couldn’t find them, it was then that I finally accepted where I found myself.

It was then that I found some peace.  It was then that I knew, even though I felt emotionally distraught, that everything would be okay.

Embrace this moment as it is.  Arguing with reality, doesn’t make it change.  It only creates more pain and frustration in our inner world.

Embrace what is here.  It creates clarity that is not accessible when we fight with reality.

When I finally admitted to myself that I had a problem with food (without judgment or pushing myself to change it) – that was then I was accepting my current reality.  And it was also when I began getting clear (one moment at at time) about what I needed to do next.  If I was to continually deny that I wouldn’t have never become aware of the steps necessary to create peace with my body and food – I wouldn’t be here writing this now.  I had to let go of food rules, feel my emotions, tune into my body – and cultivate compassion for myself when I slipped into old patterns.

CONTINUED in Part 2 

Posted in binge eating, Spirituality.