Last night I gave meditation a fair shot. I am not expecting to have some transcendental or cosmic experience, but I feel like the more I go deeper within, the more answers I'll get. I did some breathing exercise and closed my eyes and tried to tune out the sounds around me. In the type of exercise I was doing, you are to chose a focus, something you want to change about yourself that, in doing so, would be beneficial to others. I suppose my weight/food issues would be an easy, general target. But I wanted to go deeper than that. I want to find my scars. I want to heal from within, but I feel like it is going to take meditation to come up with what is really eating me, the ugly truth that hides beneath the surface, and I try to keep it hidden under layers of fat. So for my first session, which was only about 5 minutes after the breathing, I tried to bring myself to the general focus of being hurt. Since I began reading Geneen Roth's books and trying to find the hurtful moments that made me feel like food was all I had or all I was good enough for, I keep coming back to the same image. It is of me, around the age of six, I'd wanted my mother's attention and she was irritated by my interruption of what she was doing. She snapped at me and I apologized and backed away with tears in my eyes, and went to sit on the steps by myself. In this image of myself, I want to cry but I know it will only irritate her more, so I pretend that I'm OK, and hum a little song to myself, thinking that maybe if I pretend I am happy, maybe she will be too. I feel rejected and lonley, but most of all, I feel like I don't matter; I'm too much, too naughty, too loud, too energetic, too demanding, too in-the-way. I feel abandoned and wrong in every way.
I don't remember when I started comfort-eating, but I do remember comments, meant to help or control, my mother questioning how I could eat as much as I did, sometimes comparing my plate to my dad's, always making me feel guilty and greedy and insatiable. On a surface level, I understand why she did it. Her own family had been very poor, and we were not well off either. She was probably thinking then, what I wonder about my two sons now, how are we going to afford to feed this family if these kids don't let up on the volume?! Sometimes my 9 year old eats and eats until his stomach looks disdended and horifically uncomfortable, but he goes back to the fridge in search for more. I worry about what that means because he is like me in so many ways. I am keeping my eye on this, but I'm also sharing some of the things I'm learning, and I think he will benefit from it.
Tonight's attempt at meditation was short-lived due to complete lack of focus. My boys were being noisy on the other side of our shared wall, and people outsides were laughing and yelling at dogs and lighting off firecrackers. All that came to me was that image of my sad, 6 year old self, sitting on the steps, covering up my hurt with a little song.
I'm still learning what this all means, I know that hurt little girl has some answers for me and a few other images. I may try to meditate again now that it's quieter. I'm focusing on fixing the hurt, showing that little girl that sometimes being alone is uplifting. Sometimes moms push us away without meaning it because they are dealing with something bigger than we can understand. Sometimes moms don't have all the answers and sometimes we react emotionally when we wish we wouldn't.
Sometimes we have to go back in time and be our own mom, reaching out to our hurt memories to show them that it doesn't mean what we think it means; that we are being loved in so many ways we don't recognize at that moment, that we are going to be OK despite that little incident. That life will rush into us one day and when the time is right, and we are open to it, we will receive it with our entirety.