Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stuffing Your Feelings

I’ve just come back from a remarkable conference in Phoenix Arizona. Although the content was geared around helping clients with weight loss, the main presenter, Dr. Martha Beck, is doing extensive work with people addicted to heroin. It’s not such a stretch to see the connection between using food and using any other substance (or behavior) to separate one’s mind from one’s body.

Choosing not to feel is a protective mechanism that human’s have perfected beautifully. Constant avoidance of unpleasant emotions is easily dealt with by putting anything between the painful thought and the subsequent emotion.

The pesky little problem with doing that is that it consumes an inordinate amount of energy to always be in Avoidance Mode. Not only that, stuffing in food or shooting up dope has its own set of pretty nasty consequences.

What I want you to believe is that at the very core of your being, you can know peace. It is there, waiting for you. The process of finding it is simple, but not necessarily easy.

It begins with acknowledging, accepting and stopping one’s addictive behavior. Not medicating with food, drugs, sex, gambling or whatever--may seem terrifying, especially if you’ve been doing this behavior for a long time to cover up some painful experiences. Believe me, we have heard some truly tough stories. But once you choose to own and embrace your painful story, you can start to move forward.

There really is a beautiful life waiting for you; it’s called Reality, and there is nothing funnier, more joyful or more rewarding than living in it.

At The Coleman Institute we love helping people take that first step and ushering you to the next.

Joan Shepherd - FNP

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