Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inner Work

I've been living on the surface lately, giving all my attention to the physical struggles and ignoring the deeper ones.  So tonight when I tried to meditate, I felt completely out of place there in the quiet.  It was as if I were in the middle of a project then someone moved my desk to a busy avenue.  It takes a lot of patience and practice to turn off the noise of life, but I am grateful when I can get to the place where unfiltered answers are waiting.  
So while the deep meditation wasn't working, I allowed myself to think about my day, and the things that really set off my emotional eating and the meaning behind them.  
The biggest one was a customer who saw me in my office. I explained to him that my office does not take his insurance for purchasing glasses, but the doctor does take it for the medical visit.  He looked at me funny but thanked me and left.  Less than an hour later, when I was in the middle of a crazy busy day (working alone) he called back to say that he called his insurance and they said I am in their network, and asked that I call and talk to some lady he'd been working with.  I told him that this particular company is known for telling people this, because they think our doctors sell the glasses when in reality my department owns the product, and we do not have a contract.  He insisted I was misunderstanding.  I was already irritated that my new supervisor was in the clinic today, but not helping me out and I had other people in looking, buying, pricing things I just couldn't make and headway on things I had started earlier in the day, and these things were cluttering my workspace and making me feel worse.  Still, while some customers were browsing, I made the call to his insurance company and got nowhere.  And I called back to tell him the news and he is going to try again.  At that point, my store was supposed to be closing in less than an hour and I still needed to clean up and settle my sales.  Luckily he didn't call back before I closed, but the stress I was under caused me to eat two blueberry pop tarts.  I don't think I even tasted them, but I felt the pastyness after, and felt the sugars coating the back of my throat.  
Geneen Roth is the author whose works I've been using to help me figure out why I reach for food when I'm not hungry.  She says that how we react to situations today is a reflection of a belief about ourselves that we had ingrained in us long ago.  Whether that belief is based on fact or not, we still react to it without thinking.  When I recalled the events of the day, I thought about what I believed about myself that led me to comfort eat today.  I was so frustrated, first of all, that he felt I either didn't know the truth or didn't tell the truth, and it seemed like he wasn't listening to me.  I tried to put my images in my head and my emotions into words and it was almost as if a voice in my head was screaming I have no voice! This has always been an issue with me, feeling talked over, drowned out, feeling insignificant.  And the same was true of my supervisor being too busy to help me; first off, when I look at it rationally, if I'd called and asked him for help, he would have come but I knew he had a million things to take care of, and deadlines, etc.  he's been very helpful and supportive and I could have spoken up and asked for help.  So that's on me. But it does bring up another issue I have, that I expect others to see that I need them and offer assistance.  That's not so realistic.  One of the exercises that GR recommends is, obce you find a trigger, to try and go back (in your mind) to put yourself into the time where that first became a belief, to see yourself as a child, and then to let your adult self comfort that child you once were.  This helps bring about the realization that the belief you are clinging into isn't reality, it's a bad story someone told us long ago, and they told us that story so much, or with so much authority, that we took it for truth.  And now, without knowing why, we still react to things that make us feel the way that ugly little belief did.  I don't have a voice.  I'm not strong enough/smart enough/patient enough/ caring enough to fix this problem.  I will crumble if one more thing gets dumped on me.  I tell myself stuff I'm not sure I believe, but I react to it as if it were truth.  And in moments when I'm buying into these stories, food floods me with a great, tastey distraction.  
It may not be a complete breakthrough, but a step in the direction of more awareness.  I know I can't break my bad habits without examining the emotions behind them, and being more aware of the self-myth I'm buying into.  
I'm happy to report, I am still feeling good as far as my energy level goes.  I am still remarkably sore from the past couple days, but in a good way. 
Here's to another solid day!  Hope your week is going great!

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