Compulsive behaviour is a subject very close to my heart. I struggled with emotional eating from a young girl until well into my late thirties. It was only when I truly understood that our compulsions are a gift, that I was able to start healing these patterns that dominated my everyday thoughts.How can this be, you may ask, that our compulsions are a gift when they are so shrouded in struggle, shame and despair? They are a gift because they are here to teach us about ourselves. Where we are lacking, what we are avoiding and what we need more of in our lives.
The start of a new relationship
To heal our compulsions, we have to move away from trying to dominate them and forge a new relationship. Trying to control them only leads to them dominating us. And if we do control one, another seems to take over. How many people have you heard of who give up one compulsion, only to replace it with another? We stop smoking, and find ourselves overeating. We stop drinking, only to start shopping. We try to think positive thoughts to stop our worrying, but make ourselves busier by adding to the to-do lists. And it goes on….
To overcome our compulsions we have to move beyond seeing our compulsions as enemies that need to be conquered, to recognizing them as guides back into a deep and abiding relationship with ourselves and our lives. As Mary O’Malley so beautifully puts it…’…it is about being curious rather than controlling, and about responding rather than reacting’. Our compulsions grow stronger in reaction, yet they heal in response. If we are able to sit with them and truly look at them – not give in to them – but see them for what they are, we take the power out of them and reclaim it for ourselves. As we accept them and then let them go, we reconnect with what we truly need and open the doorway of healing into ourselves.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Learning how to release our compulsions in this way takes patience. This is by no means a quick fix, but from the first moment you start the process, you will find yourself amazed at its beauty and simplicity. The trick is to be forgiving, patient and compassionate with yourself, and remain open to new ways of being. The result is a life of peace and self love, that to which we all have a birthright.
If you’d like to learn more about how to transform your relationship with food forever so that you never have to diet again, then book a workshop or book your free exploratory 1-to-1 or skype session
Please feel free to leave a comment below and share your own experiences with compulsive or emotional eating
Yours in health