Over the past year, I have discovered that the more disconnected I have felt from myself, from The Creator and from others, the more I have indulged in one or more of my addictions: food, spending, alcohol, social media, and dating. Feeling lonely, even when not alone, is the experience of being disconnected.
In his TED Talk titled, Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong, Johann Hari poses the hypothesis that addiction is caused not by chemical hooks, but by people feeling disconnected from others. He details several studies that have been done that support his hypothesis.
For me, this rings very true. You see, for most of my life I have been addicted to food. I used it for comfort. At certain times in my life I felt that I had binge eating disorder. You can look at some of my pictures over the years and see it apparent in my figure and its ever expanding and then decreasing size. The more disconnected I have felt, the more I have sought out food for comfort. That is, until recently.
For me, I feel most connected to myself, The Creator, and others, when I meditate regularly. By connecting with myself and The Creator, I have begun to more readily connect with and have compassion for other people in my life. I also find that my self-confidence has improved over the same time frame.
A positive side effect of being more connected through meditation and feeling my feelings, I have removed almost 50 pounds from my frame. This has happened during some of the most tumultuous years of my life, where I have chosen the path of separation and divorce, splitting the family apart, changing jobs, moving, and living on my own (at least part-time) for the first time in my life.
I have lost this weight even without dieting and even with reducing my activity levels due to a hip injury. The weight loss did NOT occur overnight. Yet, I have managed to avoid the severe yo-yo of my weight that I have experienced since adolescence.
The more I connect with myself, The Creator and others, through my practices of meditation, feeling my feelings and writing, the more I make healthy food choices. Dieting is no longer necessary. If I notice that I begin to over-indulge in food (or one of my aforementioned addictions), this is my warning sign that it is time to go within and investigate what the underlying need is: where I feel disconnected, unloved or unworthy of love.
I share this with you because I felt the most disconnected when I spent the most time on Facebook, or dating sites. As a society, we know more about our friends lives, yet only on the surface. As individuals, I feel, we are also losing touch with our own feelings. Immersed in the lives of others, we feel guilt and shame that our lives don’t look as good. In reality, we are comparing our inner lives to the outer lives of others. In reality, we reach out and share the surface, yet avoid diving deeply into our own waters. We then turn to our addictions to give us comfort.
In reality, the evasive answers to the questions we seek are within. Yet so few of us take the time to sit still with ourselves. We fear the feelings. We fear the answers. We fear ourselves. We are all starving ourselves of the very things we need: self-validation, self-love, self-acceptance through connecting with the Divine within ourselves.
We all need food. We all need connection with others. Yet, we so often settle in so many ways and we avoid the deeper waters of our psyches. We disconnect because we fear the truth of our magnificence.
I encourage you to find the places in your life where you disconnect. We all do it and, I believe, to some degree it is healthy. Yet there is a boundary across which we often press into unhealthy territories. Beat yourself up not, my friend, we rarely can find the boundary without having crossed it. Once we figure out where that lies, then we know when we get too close or have gone too far.
I encourage you to find what meditation works best for you. There are many, many options. Personally, guided meditations were the easiest way for me to connect initially. Your Auras & Your Chakras: An Owner’s Manual by Karen MacLaren also has a meditation that was incredibly helpful to me.
The more comfortable you are with your own feelings, the more accepting you can be of others. The more accepting of others, the more deeply you will find that you readily connect.
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