I reached into my mailbox the other day and flipped through the contents, revealing many meaningless ads and other items. At the bottom of the stack sat one letter from a close friend. I ripped up the junk mail, tossed it into the recycle bin in our carport, and tore open the letter from my friend. I read it and smiled at the personal connection I felt in seeing my friend’s hand written message. I enjoyed it and felt thankful that there are still people who take the time to write a personal note to me.
Junk mail, on the other hand, is a daily source of frustration and clutter and I now wish to dispose of it immediately. There was a time when the ads caught my attention and seemed to promise something worthwhile. I thought maybe I really had won something, or that multiple credit cards were a good idea. “Maybe I’ll start clipping all these coupons,” I thought, until I noticed the conditions and limitations and expiration dates.
Recovery from an eating disorder is a bit like going through the junk mail. Opportunities to believe false messages present themselves on a daily basis, but no longer feel appealing or alluring because I’ve been down that road and seen where it’s led. I’ve lived the contrasting life of freedom and peace with food and my body. I now know the rewarding experience of eating intuitively and honoring my body, so I can readily cast aside the possibilities of self-criticism, rigid rules, and negative messages about food and my body to make room for what matters- true connections with other people, true sources of self-care and spiritual well being.
Identify the junk mail in your own life. What needs to be cast aside more readily to make room for what is meaningful and lasting?