A new insight, perhaps, into why we overeat. Is overeating more complex than we give it credit, or is it simple?
"Jesus said, ‘One who knows everything but lacks in oneself lacks everything.’ " ~ The Gospel of Thomas, saying 67 (Gnostic text)
We live in a land of over abundance. Everywhere we look there are unhealthy foods to tempt us. But there is more to why we overeat, in my opinion. Yes, there is plenty of food, everywhere we turn, with over-sizing and super-sizing. But there are readily available healthy foods as well as not-so-healthy foods.What we put in our mouths always comes down to a choice. But follow me now as I explore another possibility for why we overeat.
Eating is a body-mind-soul issue. We do not just eat to sate
our hunger. We eat for many more reasons. We eat what we eat perhaps
because of budget constraints, or moral values, and mostly, perhaps
because of the taste, or even the warm memories associated with food. I
cover several additional reasons, that are more connected with the
soul, in my article Self-Love ~ Caring for Your Body is Caring for Your Soul. You may want to read this article as well.
Closely related to what I am about to discuss below is my article on giving and receiving, which I titled, The Greatest Fear of All. To fully grasp my ideas to follow on why we overeat, I would strongly encourage you to read this article first, in the interest of avoiding too much repetition.
We live in a high-control society. If we know that this is true, then we know that wanting to control everything is deeply embedded in our psyches. Therefore, we understand that learning to let go of control is very difficult. When we believe that we can create the cause for our desired effect that is when we will be the happiest. Right? Everything is in our control, everyone does what we want and life is good.
Control gives us power, and we feel independent, strong and confident that destiny is in our very hands.
However, we all REALLY know that we cannot control everything. Life throws us many snags. We ‘lose control’ and become frustrated, and unhappy. We feel unsupported and unfulfilled. No matter how hard we try, when we lose control, we feel helpless and weak. Yet, we continue with this very pattern, over and over again, anyway!
So instead of releasing control to God/the Universe, and not judging what is happening around us, we comfort ourselves with food. We eat to feel loved, we eat to feel nurtured and we eat in order that we can now receive something back for ourselves. There is that word receive again!
Although we try, we cannot control the Universe (at least our immediate universe). This frustration leads to the total loss of control of what we put in our mouths. Could this self-abuse by overeating be a reflection of the cycle of giving and receiving that needs to be fulfilled? The cycle of Love that is incomplete? (See Greatest Fear of All for a further explanation of the Cycle of Love). Is this why we overeat? Is it because we don’t know how to receive, so receiving by what we put in our mouths is the only way of receiving anything from God/the Universe?
Because control is about exerting ourselves and our energy outwardly into the Universe to bring about an effect, in essence this is a form ‘giving’ or of giving of ourselves. We give and give through trying to control and manipulate our worlds.
The element that is missing is that we are unable to receive from God/the Universe, what it is trying to give back to us. We are unable and/or unwilling to receive. We are only open to giving and controlling. When we always give of ourselves, it gives us a source of power.
So instead of receiving from the Universe so that we can complete the cycle of Love, we become open to receive through eating. Could this be the only form of receiving that we are willing to take? Is overeating a manifestation of our inability to be open to receive of ALL of the gifts of Grace? Could this be a reason why we overeat?
I have often thought that my weight was a gauge of my happiness in life. My weight is my barometer in relation to my fulfillment. Overeating represents something going unfulfilled in my life. Food cravings are manifestations of wanting something I cannot have in the external world. For me, it is always cravings for something sweet. Interesting metaphor, isn’t it? There is something sweet in my life that is missing, perhaps, or at something that I view as sweet.
Could the lack of a willingness to receive also play an important part in our weight? Instead of a gauge of our happiness, is our weight a gauge of our unwillingness to receive and therefore a manifestation of our inability to complete the cycle of Love? Is this why we overeat?
If instead, if we are open to relinquishing our need to control everything, by constantly giving and giving, would we have less of a need for overeating?
Is overeating more of a spiritual issue in the body-mind-soul equation? Does our body weight reflect the status of our spirituality? Does our body weight reflect our inability to receive, other than through what we put into our mouths? Is our body-mind-soul attempting to give to us that which we are unable to receive?
I hope you have received from me, the desire to reflect on your own need to give, disproportionately to your willingness to receive. If you have, you may uncover even more insights as to why we overeat.
I know I continually forget how to receive. My heart is continually bubbling over with what I wish to share, my deepest desire to be heard. (See my thyroid cancer story). I frequently forget to stop and be present to Stillness, to Silence and to God. It is there and only there, that I am able to open my heart to receive. I affirm to myself, on a daily basis, "I am open to receive."
I have written a heart meditation that you can access for free, if you sign up for my newsletter, Body Moments. Just click on the back issues link (you will receive the link when your subscription is confirmed) and go to the December 22, ‘10 issue for the heart meditation.
Do this heart mediation on a daily basis to open your heart to receive!
When we open our hearts to receive, we become humbled and are present to others and their gifts as well. We no longer have the burning desire to be heard. We no longer need to give and give, until we drop from exhaustion. If we learn to receive in this manner, perhaps we can even better understand why we overeat?
May your body-mind-soul be flooded with the gift of Grace that is free, without deserving and without earning. May you always be open to receive from all those around you. Everyone you meet is your teacher and your giver! We are all one in our dreams and desires, after all. May your overeating be quelled by the gifts that you continually receive from God/the Universe.
Right now, in this moment, let's ponder the reason why we overeat. Let’s take a deep breath together and affirm, "I listen to my body-mind-soul and I feed it the food of Grace. I am open to receive."