I just had a cheeseburger, fries, and mozzarella sticks.
I was having menstrual cramps FROM HELL.
I said to my sister: “It’s time to get cheeseburgers, to numb my midsection to the point that I don’t feel the cramps anymore.”
But later, I thought…
What if I have a daughter one day… And she’s having really bad cramps?
She’s 14 or so, and she’s pouting, and suffering.
Would I tell her to go numb out her stomach with cheeseburger?
…No… that’s not what I want to do.
I want to say, “My poor sweetie, I know, I know.” I’d make her a cup of hot tea. I’d get her a heating pad to curl up with. I’d have her lay her head on my lap and I’d stroke her hair. I’d get her some aspirin if she wanted.
I certainly wouldn’t want to exponentially increase her pain level by adding layers of emotional pain, acknowledged in the moment or not, resulting from overeating.
I have compassion for myself, for why I ate all that stuff.
At the same time, I seek to care for myself as a beloved child.
We all deserve that kind of love. I wonder how I would feel right now if I had done that earlier, instead of eaten the cheeseburger. Right now I’m feeling pretty bloated…
The more you allow and touch your own pain, the more you can truly empathize with others, as well.
If and when I say, “I know, I know sweetie,” I want that to be true. I don’t want to only know a shadow of what feelings feel like, because the full colors were numbed out with food.
I want the depths of sorrow and the heights of joy.
A cheeseburger’s no worthy substitute.