There’s a saying that says, don’t get stuck looking at the finger pointing to the moon. Keep your gaze going. Look at the moon.
I love dogs. But dogs don’t typically understand symbolic language. So they’ll look at the finger. Is there a treat? What’s on that finger? They don’t know that this means something. It has meaning. It’s pointing you towards something. We understand that the disorder eating behaviors, they are the finger. And of course, you have to look at it. But, you don’t stop your gaze there, you just keep on going, keep on going, keep on going.
It’s pointing you towards something.
We understand that the disorder eating behaviors, they are the finger.
And of course, you have to look at it.
But, you don’t stop your gaze there, you just keep on going, keep on going, keep on going.
So that you can find out what it’s really pointing you towards. I have discovered after all these years working with folks who struggle, what their eating disorder is truly pointing them towards is their destiny. But, as all the ancient stories and myths tell us, in order to reach your destiny, you first have to face your fate.
Fate is all those things that life gives you that you didn’t ask for: These are your parents. This is your ethnicity; this is your socio-economic group. This is the car accident you had. This is the disease you caught. This is the eating disorder. All these things, that’s your fate.
If you don’t face your fate, you can’t live your destiny. You face your fate, like when somebody goes into recovery for eating disorders, they are raising their hand and saying, I’m facing my fate.
All this stuff happened. It all came together. The perfect storm, the perfect soup, and I ended up with an eating disorder. I did not ask for it. Nobody asks for an eating disorder.
It’s delivered up in just the right combination of situations that can happen.
There’s a tribe, it’s called the Apendari Tribe. And what they say is, everybody is born with what they call the Wise Word. The wise word isn’t really a word. It’s the gift you’ve been given. And the gift you’ve come to bring.
We all have one. It’s as unique as our thumbprint. So, there’s never been an Anita on this planet like me. Never will be another one. And that’s the case for every single one of you. That’s the case for every single person who struggles with an eating disorder. So, if somebody doesn’t meet their destiny, the world has lost something. Because it will never ever be, never ever, in that particular constellation or combination again.
But here’s the thing: the Apendari Tribe believes that, yes, everybody is born with their Wise Word. But they are also born with what they call the Cross-Wise. And that’s your own cancellation process — that sits on top of your wise word. That’s your fate. You are born with your Destiny, and then there’s your Fate.
Our fate is pretty easy to recognize: this happened, that happened. Destiny? That’s a little harder to get a handle on unless you understand that its right there, right beneath your fate. So, you know those people that go to the beach with a metal detector? They go along and all of a sudden, zzzzz. Dig there! You don’t have to dig up the whole beach. Dig there.
Eating disorders are like that.
For those of us who work in the field, the behaviors are telling us where to dig. That’s it. It’s not saying that the person is broken or damaged goods, or there’s something wrong. No, no, no. It's their fate talking. But, it’s talking in symbolic language. It’s not talking English in the way in which we can understand it. So you kind of have to pull back and start to listen with a different kind of ear.
To give you an idea of how this works, several weeks ago, I was doing a phone consult with a woman.
When she called she said, “I wanted to see if you could help me. I’ve been sober for 27 years. I’ve not had a drop of liquor in 27 years. But, I’ve never been able to clear my eating disorder. All those years. Can you help me?”
I said, “well tell me what’s the nature of your eating disorder?”
She said, “well, I binge on candy. And I’m so ashamed of it, that I hide it in little pockets all around my office because I don’t want anybody to know how much I eat.“
I said, “oh, what kind of candy?”
She said a brand that I had never heard of. And so I said, “what kind of candy is that?”
She said “licorice”.
I said,” liquor-ish?”
“You’re not drinking liquor, but you’ve got a kind of liquor-ish candy?”
So that told me right there, that the same issues that were driving her alcohol addiction were also driving the eating disorder and we only had to look one place.
I said, “well, tell me when did all this start?”
She said, sure enough, it started all about the same time in her life, when the family had moved, and she was being bullied by girls in school. The only person that could be supportive was her father, and he was kind of weird in his own way. The whole story unraveled. So liquor-ish.
You see, when you start to kind of play with the language a little bit, you can begin to understand there is so much meaning, there is so much profound meaning in what someone is doing with food.
I had another client, and she was an emergency room physician. She came in to see me one day, and she was like, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, you’re going to have to help me! I can’t even believe what I did. I am just so disgusted! “And she started to beat herself up.
And I went, “wow, what did you just do?”
She said, I” was working, I came home from work, and I fixed my husband and myself some chicken tenders. And before he even got home, I ate them all myself. I can’t believe I did it. I’m so disgusted.” And she started beating herself up again.
I said, “whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.”
Let’s take a look at what just happened. You were in the emergency room, right? What was it, a 12-14 hour shift? How long was it? And you were tending to all kinds of physical and emotional trauma, right?
She said, “yeah.” And because we had worked together for a while, I said, “what do you think you were really hungry for?”
And she said, “a hug”.
I said, “so you wanted some TLC, some tender loving care. And instead, you ate the chicken tenders”.
This is how it works. If I’m on target … it pops. And that’s it. Once it comes into consciousness, she’ll never be able to eat chicken tenders again when she’s not hungry (that’s the key), without asking herself first, do I really need a hug?
When it comes into consciousness and it comes into awareness, it pops. Because in order for the eating disorder to drive you, it has to be subterranean. It has to stay unconscious. But, if you’re able to see what the symptomology is saying, if you’re able to listen, with a different ear, it’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s fascinating. It’s interesting. It’s compelling.
So that’s why I do what I do. That’s why I’m so excited to have this amazing opportunity to be here.
I would love to hear what you think, share a comment below!
Till next time,