Healthy Hopes

“Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.” -George Weinberg

“Because now that it’s finally morning, the shadows are beginning to fade, the shadows that have been covering my mind and my soul. Now that they’re gone, I can almost start to see the way, and it’s different from the one they’d convinced me was all I could have.” -Vixen Phillips

The war I find myself in against my body continues.

I haven’t shared in awhile about my recovery process and to be honest it’s because I had given up hope for awhile. I find myself going back and fourth between two extremes. When I’m good, I’m really very good. When I’m bad…I’m bad all the way. Tis the way of an extremist. The spiritual revelation is that freedom lies somewhere in the middle and to arrive at the destination will require a surrender. So many times I feel I’ve arrived at that surrender point only to find that the surrender is constant. Daily. Even hourly.
I’ve dug up the bones of this…I know that my out of control eating is to maintain this sense of actually feeling in control. Which is the deadly trap.

Last weekend I spent some time with my cousins who are Buddhist. I had never really talked with a a Buddhist before and I found it fascinating that so many of the principles and disciplines that they strive to practice aren’t far from what I’m called to as a follower of Christ.
My favorite one being that of “The Beginners Mind”. I found this little excerpt that explains the correlation I felt beautifully:
“In Zen, beginner’s mind is the ideal state. It is a mind that has no preconceptions about the world, one that is open and eager to learn. Even someone who has studied Zen for many years tries to retain this attitude of receptivity. A beginner doesn’t have to unlearn anything. With no preconceptions, he or she can approach the world with the freshness of a child. Perhaps Jesus meant something similar when he said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Lori Erickson , Belief Net

The concept is that whatever we approach we must try and do so as if it’s the very first time. There is joy in the moment to be found when you can look at each experience this way. But it requires discipline. It requires making up our mind and choosing not to look at things in the same old dead way.

It requires HOPE.

God willing, may it be so.

This was a poem I wrote this week while thinking and praying about where I’m at again with my twisted relationship to food. May I have a beginners mind today and not the mind of the expert of self-destruction that I’ve been so familiar with.

I am the buffer.
Buoyant with secrets.
Slave to my insulation.
Absorbing hits, dings and slices.
This has always been my way.
Daggers and knives.
Teeth, tongues, lips and lies.
Makes no difference.
They are no match against this armor.

Except that-
they consistently win.

It’s a lie.
A fable.
A cover.
I’m deceived.
It always has been,
and will be.
Unless I surrender my grip to be free.
Fighting to recover.
On repeat daily.

As if this casing is really safety?
As if I’m fully living lately?
As if my hearts convinced you don’t still hate me?
As if there is NO maybe?
Maybe would just be crazy.

This issue is just TOO weighty.
The outcome is too shaky…

So my grip gets tighter.
Writing is hyper.
The gap grows still wider.

Hope that today will be kinder.


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