I awaken to my spiritual practice. After I watch Roland Martin, I prepare my breakfast, carbohydrate-free, with coffee as a chaser. I peruse Facebook and Gmail, and just about two hours after breakfast, my lover calls. He seduces me, reminding me of the arduous work that my mind must process today…the bills that must be paid…the children…people I am pissed off with or vice-versa… those I support in prayer…my loneliness, etc. Then, he invites me to dance in celebration of my accomplishments. He promises to soothe me, to give me the warmth I need to make it through any emotion defining pain or joy. He wields his power by offering the fuel I need for comfort, for joy, for protection, for love. Day or night, he has what I crave.
This is the lover my mother warned me against – the one with contrived sexy looks; the one that can speak several languages, the one that makes me feel good. She warned against this adorned leech, ready to consume the best of me. The only way I recognize my own distortion is when he has done what he set out to do and I am crumbled in guilt and shame. He can be a predator that survives only through the power I give him…the power I give him…the power I give him. He is my food addiction.
My Symptoms of Practicing Addiction
Thinking about food 24/7, eating too much, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining more weight, feeling miserable, eating away the feeling, missing engagements, eating out of trash, mistreating past boyfriends,, my husband and children, becoming a recluse, hating myself, feeling depressed …
When I discovered and finally defined food addiction as compulsive overeating, I began to take account of the gifts afforded me through my alluring lover. Most of what I learned was through Overeaters Anonymous. Because of my lover’s shadow, I have worked through my dis-ease by learning to live through it and let go of it. I live my life consciously. I have written my life inventory a number of times and have given it away to trusted listeners. This exercise allowed me to forgive and ask forgiveness of others and myself. Through this process, I learned about the emotions that ignited my addiction, and sharing my story has diminished so much of my pain. The gift of addiction taught me that I am worthy and can accept myself no matter what I look like. I still write and use a support system that lets me know when addiction is rearing his ugly head.
Is he still poised, ready, and waiting for me? Yes. I have not shaken him, but I have learned I must deal with him one day at a time, one moment at a time. Through a condensed spiritual practice of healing, I surrender to the Power within me…the Power within me …the Power within me.
A Love Supreme
Today I awakened to yet another power outage. I stomped out to my backyard to rant and to water my flowers. “Every time I turn around, we’re out!” I took a breath and suddenly realized this morning was cooler than the recent heat and humidity we had been experiencing. My plants’ soil had been christened by a secret and sacred rain through the night, and I didn’t have to water them. I took another breath, which included the scent of rosemary, gave thanks, and smiled. The weather was inviting me to go for my morning walk. My foot has been giving me the blues. So, I walked my neighborhood, rather than the park.
After only a few steps I noticed my aching foot. Determined to walk, I cupped my iPhone and selected music. I accidentally bumped into Michael Jackson on my playlist, and he had my ear. “Do you remember the time…” Before I knew it, my eyes held wells of tears as I envisioned my kids and husband dancing to this song, and I was reminded of the power of music. It can conjure up the roots of rhythm and make you “drop it like it’s hot.” It can also take you to a bittersweet place where your heart must embrace and remember loved ones gone from sight. (My husband transitioned 7 years ago). The next automatic selection on my playlist was John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. To say Coltrane’s music is ethereal is an understatement. This morning it evoked a spiritual response from me.
It was as though every tree I passed spoke to me, saying, “See my splendor, I am a part of you.” Coltrane’s saxophone blazing, I was struck by the countenance of this everyday visual, which now seemed to be transformative. As I walked uphill, I practiced Qigong, breathing and navigating my chi, (energy), “One fun, two shoe…” With the crescendo of the song, the chant started, “a love supreme…a love supreme…” At that moment I saw a newly broken limb of a tree, and I bowed to the power of the storm that must have hit while I slept. Further down the street lay a dead limb with no leaves. I thought about the cycle of life and the power of regeneration and renewal symbolized by the trees. I felt a sense of hope for the universe, and my foot no longer hurt.
No power again! ‘Off to Starbucks to read and write. Then to my daughter’s house. Heaven forbid I should relinquish my power to the darkness, a condition that disconnects me from my devices and gadgets. I will not be unplugged!
My son, Miles, took back the night. First, he checked on me. Then making sure the stove was turned off and doors were locked, he lit broken candles, listened to the rain, lay across his bed, and was pleasantly undisturbed by my absence. He slept in his power.
Founder of Garden Spices Magazine
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