If you’ve got eating issues, any other sort of addiction, or any long-standing bad habits, it’s almost certainly true that you do a lot of automatic predicting about feelings.
Whether you’re aware of it or not at the time, every choice you make about whether to stay in the moment or distract yourself is a choice that indicates your current level of confidence in your ability to handle feelings.
I remember hearing someone explain how you can consider each purchase you make as a vote – if you buy an apple, it’s like saying “1 Yay for more apple production!” At that moment apples are supported and pears are not.
There’s also a quote from somebody, probably Buddha or somethin’, “You’re always practicing something – you’re either practicing suffering or practicing peacefulness,” or something to that effect.
So with these two notions combined, my point is, every time you go down the path of that bad habit, it’s like casting a vote for that bad habit to continue.
This is NOT to add fuel to the fire of blaming yourself for “how pathetic you are” for continuing to engage in the habit. This is rather to clarify what’s at stake, AND more importantly to say that it’s not worth the escape – because you DON’T KNOW what’s on the other side.
When you reach for a 3rd serving of food or a cigarette or to hurt or distract yourself in some other way, it’s because some powerful part of you has decided that doing that is preferable to having A CERTAIN FEELING in the next few moments instead.
And I just want you to be aware that that’s the choice you’re making, so that you can make a conscious decision about whether you want to keep making that choice. Do you really want to be constantly betting against yourself, that you vote you can’t handle the passing sensations of boredom or sadness, anger, frustration, tiredness? Do you want that underlying current of self-doubt to own your life, to determine your level of self-respect, authenticity, and sense of aliveness?
You can take the leap into potentially yucky feelings, and see if you survive, and go somewhere brand new (!!!) Or you can reinforce for yourself, that you must engage in your escapist coping mechanism right now because the alternative is too unbearable.
Lemme put it this way: Right now, you don’t get to say how it will feel to stay in the moment and feel your feelings instead of run. Why? Because as someone who’s still suffering greatly from a longstanding eating issue or other painful habit, unfortunately you have not yet had enough experience feeling instead of running. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in this position! By definition you’re someone who doesn’t have enough direct experience with allowing difficult feelings.
So – here’s a vote of confidence from me, that you can handle not jumping on board the train of your next compulsion/distraction. Watch it barrel towards you then pass you by. IT IS SO POSSIBLE.
Get your freedom back moment by moment. You are so much more than this suffering.