Religion, Food, and Freedom

I’ve been going through a time of letting go. Some pretty hefty dropping of the baggage. My friend Beth refers to it as a “wiping of the chalkboard”.

My thoughts aren’t clear, but some correlations are appearing. If I wait until I have exactly what I want to say, I’ll probably be on my deathbed, so…bear with me as I start to make some sketches.

I’ve completely let go of religion. I don’t consider myself affiliated with any religious institution whatsoever. A few weeks or so ago, I would have said I’ve let go of Christianity and even of a belief in God. That may be the case, but I think it would be more accurate to say I’m solidly in the “I don’t know” camp regarding God’s existence.

The joy of being me is that I can change my mind at ANY TIME I SO CHOOSE. I have been so afraid of speaking my mind on these things, for fear of others’ opinions and views of who I am, and what my changing thoughts are, that it was affecting my exploration of my own heart and mind. Not good.

So for now, I’m going to share my thoughts without regard to you, the reader. [If you are worried for my soul, please don’t be. If you are ok with hearing me tell the truth, feel free to ask questions – just don’t feel the need to try to persuade me from my current path. You aren’t me. And I’ve decided to stop “looking for myself outside of myself” 🙂 . That’s not to say I’m not interested in hearing about you, and what you believe, and why — but I’m just not open to being “schooled” or “witnessed to” or “saved” from anything.]

Moving on.

Food. What a long and sordid history I have had with eating, and food, and dieting. It actually parallels my struggles with belief, and spirituality, and religion. In a lot of pretty intense ways.

I am currently reading (and listening to) Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

What I’m coming to see / feel / understand is that I have had an inherent distrust of everything I do. Somewhere along the way, I picked up this idea that if it comes from me (a thought, a desire, an instinct) that it’s likely wrong, or selfish, or sinful. Time to shed that too.

I am seeing correlations between a legalistic mindset in religion and pretty much all diets. And to add insult to injury, I managed to be very visibly, but painfully temporarily, successful using a religious diet plan that REALLY screwed me up regarding God and food and me. It had just enough of a nugget of truth to resonate with me, but then such an insidious message of our worthlessness that I ate myself right into hell.

What I am feeling most right now is relief. A sense of freedom. Hope. Hope that I can stop this conflict between me and myself. Hope that I can build some trust. Trust in my ability to listen to my heart, listen to my body, listen to my mind and make good choices based on what I hear. Sounds simple doesn’t it? I think it is. It’s time to disregard the fear and say “HUSH” to the critical voices that used to drive me to perfectionism. To let go, and listen, and trust.

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