Thursday, April 8, 2010

Being our whole selves

I've seen several old friends over the last two weeks, people coming to Portland to visit. Some I've known more than 30 years. I've been paying attention to how I talk about my life, what's up for me, including sugar abstinence. My friend Kathie was talking today about living as an old liberal in a very conservative community (she lives there to be near her son and granddaughters) and about the importance of finding venues where we can be ourselves openly and completely.

I've been thinking about that since she left. Do I take all occasions to be myself openly and completely? Do I speak my truth, including the truth about my feelings? In my childhood home, my mother insisted that we keep our negative feelings to ourselves. If we were sad or angry, we were told to go to our rooms and come back when we could be pleasant. I don't know what that might have reflected from her own growing-up family, but what I took from that was the fact that no one wanted to know if I was unhappy. That I should keep such feelings to myself.

Stuffing feelings is a huge part of my seductive relationship with sugar (and alcohol before it). If I felt bad, lots of sugar and fat could make me feel better (brain chemistry) and I didn't have to be with my anger or resentment or grief or sorrow or fear. I could get sedated and not care. Now that I'm not doing that anymore, I'm at a loss as to what to do with these feelings. I'm so tempted to throw myself into work or other busy-ness, which is an adult equivalent of going to my room and keeping it to myself. I'm not wanting to do that but I'm not yet sure what to do instead.

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