Tag Archives: christianscience
Bulimia: A Series on Food and Eating IV
I interviewed Liz DeHaven, who was bulimic during her younger years. Most of us can identify with Liz, doing something we thought was smart, at first, only to find out later it was self-destructive. Bulimia was Liz’s secret until she realized she had the God-given ability to face the bulimia and put it behind her.
Me. Did you have a weight problem in your younger years? Liz. No. After High School the goal to become a model stuck in my mind and because body size is stressed with modeling, my best friend told me throwing up my food would keep me thinner than I was already. I think back and wonder why I thought throwing up my food was a good idea. I can reason through the fact that my mom was in the midst of her 2nd divorce and the bulimia was a sign that I no longer could stomach life. But, that didn’t give me the energy to finally admit throwing up is a twisted idea of control.
Me. At what point did the bulimia become out of control? Liz. Exactly at the point I thought I was in control, in other words, it became out of control once I started doing it because I was really good at it. I had “control” and made myself throw up for 5 years. But, my “being in control” was a lack of spiritual self-control.
Me. When did you realize you needed help? Liz. After 5 years I realized I could not stop myself from throwing up. And, I met another friend, a recovering drug addict, who suggested I join Overeaters Anonymous. I gladly attended the meetings because they acknowledge God and found another person to sponsor me. I did try psycho-therapy, but it didn’t work.
Me. Do you turn to God? Liz. Yes, I pray every day to God. However, my prayers change. When I was bulimic, I prayed for my teeth and stomach to remain healthy, and they did. Then I prayed for the strength to learn how to eat again and not obsess over what to eat. It took me 2 years, on and off, to stop throwing up.
Me. Do you eat healthy foods now? Liz. Yes, at first I kept my eating simple, I was even a vegetarian for 7 years, now I eat what I feel drawn to eat. I limit my sugar and alcohol intake, and I pray not to beat myself up if I eat a candy bar!
Me. Are you an energetic person? Liz. I am a very energetic person. My life is always uncovering new spiritual growth, as I get past one hurdle, there is another hurdle in a different area. Food isn’t an issue now, however, I am learning to be wise with my mental energy, to share it appropriately with other people so we don’t drain one another, but help one another. And, I love to surround myself with humor!
Food and Eating III: Food Fads
Society is saturated with food related issues, similar to a behemoth mound of problematic wet laundry. Instead of just laying there, putrifying, we can pick ourself up and hang ourself on the line to dry.
Yes, we will get flapped around by the winds of food fads, the food industry, and scientific eating, however, hang in there, take a metaphysical approach and focus on the fact that the fabric of our being is untouched. Only the food related issues will evaporate while our spirituality comes clean.
Remember, to ignore, or be obsessed by, food is to let go of the line. Paraphrasing Science and Health, we can enjoy good food, but not crave it as a source of pleasure or problems. Truth and Love is the source of our being.
The following video depicts how I’ve been hanging on the line, letting the god of food evaporate.
A Series on Food and Eating II: Sacred Foods
Standing on a ladder, up in a tree dripping with Bing Sweet cherries, I select a prime cherry to pick and eat. All cherries are not created equal, my taste buds tell me. Cherries that grow in sunlight have a higher sugar content and are more delicious.
Human beings give food status. We think food gives us status. However, the status-giving-habit comes with complications. Preparing food, and dining, become tricky when vegetarians, omnivores, and dieters get together. Rating and ranking food can create picky eaters, food snobs, or healthier eating. Food can also interject complexities into our daily life.
Last night I watched a movie titled, Ushpizin (2005). The story line was staged during a Jewish 8-day Harvest Holiday. One particular food item—the citron—was held in high-esteem to main character, Moshe, a man practicing the Orthodox Jewish religion. Citron is one of the Four Species used while reciting blessings during Sukkot.
In the film, Moshe paid an exorbitant amount of money for one unblemished citron which he kept safely in a box on the shelf. Moshe’s faith in God’s blessings was so tightly knit to this symbol, that he went ballistic when he discovered his guest had used it as a regular lemon to add flavor to a salad. However, advice from the Rabbi convinced Moshe to simmer down and dissolve his anger, which he did. Moshe realized, the citron wasn’t sacred but his trust in God was. Moshe was then able to disattach spiritual faith from the symbol and rely on God for his blessing. He lived what the patriarch Abraham lived. From 21st Century Science and Health, “[Abraham] illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good.”
Food will always have status because it is a symbol. Food and eating can be used to represent spiritual satisfaction, self-discipline, gratitude, and humility. However, the food is not indissolubly attached to the spiritual. We have self-control and satisfaction because they come from God, good. Not ourselves, not food. Until human beings better understand that food is created equal, we can appreciate, learn about, and treat food appropriately as we illustrate our trust in good.
A Series on Food and Eating I: Organic Foods
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan, is a fascinating book. I am on page 242 of 415. So far, my intrigue has climaxed with Pollan’s report on his visit to Polyface Farm in Virginia, owned and operated by Joel Salatin.
Salatin’s motto is, “The way I produce food is an extension of my worldview.” Apparently, Salatin’s worldview is inclusive and mobile.
Polyface Farm does not mimic the monocultural “industrial organic” farms, but a sustainable polyculture that is serious about clean food and symbiotic relationships. Salatin isn’t producing one homogonized item, such as thousands of chickens. Polyface Farm includes trees, grass, cows, chickens, turkeys, and hogs. Fresh compost is produced from wood chips and organic material. Manure is natural fertilizer. Every creature is moved daily, so as not to overuse the grass. Furthermore, the foul, “dine on the insects that would otherwise bother the hervbivore; they also pick insect larvae and parasites out of the animal’s droppings, breaking the cycle of infestation and disease.”
Salatin has broken out of the industrial view of the world as linear and hierarchal. All creatures are equally important, diverse, and interdependent. They are in a state of readiness, easily mobilized to work together for the good of the whole. Not to say Polyface Farm is an ideal, there is no human ideal, however the principles underlying the action is worth contemplation.
A holistic view allows for a fuller expression of our distinctiveness, and for God’s infinite individuality.
Threats are Promises Gone Bad
Today, I am dragging.
A mental anguish blunts my expression of peace and health. I might as well be digging a ditch in dry sand.
When I was growing up on the family farm, I did dig ditches in the sand. Not only did the sand collapse and re-fill the hole, but there was also the menacing threat of meeting up with scorpions.
Scorpions are predators with grasping claws and a segmented tail that curves up and ends with a venomous stinger. Experience and science has taught me though, that scorpions basically hide in the sand and settle into a life of non-participation. Only a few species actually have enough venom to kill a human being. So, I got brave enough to just shovel the scorpions out of the hole and keep on digging.
This memory triggers me to ask, what in life looks like a promise/threat, but is inevitably thrown aside as useless?
Threats are promises gone bad. Human beings have a tendency to stretch and twist a promise into what amounts to be a threat. For example, telling someone that if they read a certain book, take a certain drug, or sleep, they will be healed. These promises are eventually proven useless and thrown aside.
As it stands, God’s promises seem most reliable. The promises of a God of Love, Truth, Life. No collapsing in on me. No preying. No stinger. I’m going to make the effort to feel this.
Not eating too much on Thanksgiving Day
The other day, friend Marie asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving.
I gave her a blank look.
I have no plans.
About 20 years ago, I shifted my approach to the holidays from strategic planning and defined expectations, to more spontaneity.
It’s paid off. The Holidays turn out better than I could have designed myself. And, stress doesn’t even bother inviting itself anymore.
Well, to be honest, the first few years of spontaneity were touch and go. I pee-oed a few family members when I chose not always to participate in the “traditional” festivities, but common sense won out and I wasn’t excommunicated from the family.
Thanksgiving celebrations span cultures, continents, and millennia. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Native Americans (before the English arrived) paid tribute to God, or the gods, after harvest. In 1621, the Plymouth Colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast. Later in history, first President George Washington gave a Thanksgiving Proclamation, expressing gratitude for independence and ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Then, in the next century, in the midst of the U.S. civil war, President Abraham Lincoln entreated Americans to ask God to “heal the wounds of the nation” and declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
Yes, there are people like me who faithfully attend Thanksgiving church services, however, to stereotype Thanksgiving Day as a religious breakthrough misses the point (unless Thanksgiving signifies eating turkey religiously).
Mass consciousness is being penetrated with the fact that appreciation, thankfulness, and gratitude can be experienced every day. If setting aside a day of thanks is the necessary step to being appreciative every day, so be it. But remember, it helps not to stereotype Thanksgiving. It helps not to do things we ultimately will feel dissatisfied about. So, let’s be thankful, for the right to know when to stop eating, when to exercise, how to volunteer our compassion, how to reduce our consumption, how to secure security, and how to touch the spirit of others with love.
Gratitude is powerful. Being thankful for friends, a home, and care coincides with wonder and joy. And, I admit, I find there is something greater attracting my attention, that is Life, Truth, Love, God. Thank you.
Forgiveness Is Alive and Well
Agreed, it completely stinks to be wronged or betrayed.
Of course, living in the information age, we are prodigiously told the next best step to take is to forgive the wrong-doer. There are a zillion books on the market discussing the art of forgiveness. With a computer click, we can find encouraging quotes on forgiveness by great Masters such as Alexander Pope, Christ Jesus, Mother Teresa, and Thich Nhat Hanh. A continuous supply of sermons on the topic of forgiveness is being delivered around the world. And, to top it off, friends and co-workers tell us how forgiving others brought them great peace.
But, why is it still so darn difficult to forgive and not hurt anymore? Do we take forgiveness too personally?
I’ve gotten pretty good at forgiving others, most of the time. But, then I haven’t had to forgive after living through the holocaust or Khmer Rouge either, so I don’t give myself too many points. But, people who truly have forgiven and went on to live powerfully helpful lives absolutely get my attention and respect.
I learn from them. I learn, not only is forgiveness crucial, but it is essential to also recognize how often we are forgiven throughout the day. Forgiveness is not linear, it is not a one way street where forgiving others answers all the problems. Forgiveness is circular, forgiving and forgiven. As forgiveness is recognized, forgiving becomes easier.
We can unite with the spiritual truth that forgiveness is alive and well.
- When I am tired and accidentally cut in front of another driver, many times the other driver screeches their brakes and lets me in, without honking.
- I’ve left work early and gone home sick. My co-workers picked up the slack.
- I’ve said something really rotten, really unnecessary, to someone else and they calmly walked away.
- I’ve been angry in public, yet a clerk still helped me.
- I’ve been irresponsible at times when raising the children, yet the children turned out okay.
- I’ve done stupid things to my body and it heals.
Agreed again, there is a difference between intentional and unintentional wrongs, but the intent to stay within the circle of forgiveness and forgiving is extremely powerful. It helps not to take forgiveness so personally, as if we have to invent or make it happen. In one respect, forgiveness is impersonally being radiated throughout the universe. Feel it.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (NKJB)
“And Love is reflected in love.” (21st Century Science and Health)
Learned Behavior versus Learning from Behavior
Learned behavior is prevelant. Children repeat their parents. Society mimics what is popular. Followers do what they think leaders are telling them to do. Comfort zones train people to defend their space or status. Trained behavior doesn’t last.
The other side of the coin is learning from behavior. This tactic is infused with a love awareness. At some point, we stop mimicking and start observing and understanding and responding humanely. After becoming aware of others, we also can recognize behavior that hurts or divides and understand how to improve behavior in order to love one another. This learning is expansive and gives a sense of purposeful life. We chose to learn through relationships, work, play, dialogue, volunteering, and so on.
Learning, versus learned, requires asking what are the needs of others? What is their body language telling me? How can I help if need?
I have a cute pet example, Hammish and Sammy have learned behavior, they do what their caretakers have trained them to do which makes them acceptable to society. However, they also observe and learn through play. They know clawing and biting hard hurts, so they don’t do it. Love is being reflected and they know how to live life. They also know participation offers an inclusive feeling.
“Yes, we love because he first loved us.”–John