Mister Rand has long suffered from what is termed an “eating disorder,” in his case the compulsion to eat more than his body requires especially of carbohydrates, sugars, and fat-laden proteins. As a result, he has developed a deformity of the torso that weighs him down and prevents him, he thinks, from finding love and acceptance from others whose opinions he cherishes.
Eating disorders are, as we see it, at core, disorders of the heart chakra, and they can come in many forms, such as compulsive overeating and vomiting; compulsive undereating and self-starvation; and compulsive exercising and dieting. To bring these disorders into balance, it is necessary for the sufferer to identify the core need, which is love; and to develop strategies for opening the heart both to Divine Love and to human love as well.
In the Twelve Step group “Overeaters Anonymous,” there is a series of contemplative exercises designed to accomplish just the sort of heart opening to which we refer. At root, they involve:
(1) admission of powerlessness over the addictive urge when it strikes;
(2) acknowledging that Divine Love exists and is eager to relieve any and all self-harm compulsions if that is what the sufferer truly wishes;
(3) a commitment by the sufferer to placing one’s will and life into the loving care of the Divine Healer on a daily basis;
(4) listing all the ways one’s pain and loneliness have manifested in waking life;
(5) breaking silence by sharing this list with another human being;
(6) agreeing, one day at a time, to permitting the Divine Healer complete access to one’s innermost core being, for the purpose of adjusting one’s attitudes and actions so that they reflect our beauty rather than our pain;
(7) performing a ritual in which one formally invites Divine Healer access to one’s core;
(8) making a list of any persons we have harmed, and becoming willing to make amends to them all;
(9) making amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others;
(10) working daily to keep one’s heart open to the Divine Healer’s correction when one acts towards others out of a consciousness level of force, threat, and blame rather than the consciousness levels of acceptance with intent to learn, understanding, giving, loving, and knowing that one is intrinsically whole;
(11) communing consciously with the Divine Healer on a daily basis, so that we may receive the daily power and blessings that Divine Love wishes to pour upon us; and
(12) offering oneself as a channel of Divine Love to other sufferers on a daily basis as opportunities arise.
It is vital to recognize that the process of recovering from eating disorders cannot take place in isolation: one must become so sick of being sick that one is willing to ask for help, despite one’s shame and inner accusers. This is why Mister Rand attends a Twelve Step meeting designed for compulsive overeaters; he has found, over time, his fear of being seen and harmed by others has diminished considerably owing to the consistent, nonintrusive love shown him by other members of the group.
Furthermore, any healing of the heart results in increased awareness of feelings, inevitably including feelings one does not wish to feel, such as shame, fear, resentment, anger, and other responses to the illusion that one is starving emotionally. A daily choice must be made to allow these feelings to come to consciousness, and to use various tools, such as writing and sharing verbally with others one can trust, for the purpose of acknowledging these feelings and releasing them on a daily basis into the love of the Divine Healer. For it is the Divine Healer alone Who can repair the damaged heart chakra; bring peace, love, and resilience to the emotional body; and silence the voice of the inner accuser who calls Mister Rand a failure and a troll.
And we thank you for sharing.•
For further information about Twelve Step programs for compulsive eaters, check out the website http://www.oa.org.