Monday, August 6, 2007
Inside Secret Eating - Ending the Secret
"You begin to build your inner beliefs, myths & patterns when you are a young child & these are continually edited by the inner mind, in order to keep you in balance & to help you make sense of your world. This doesn't mean that the myths or patterns are healthy, it just means that they are continually edited. The responsibility of your matureSelf is to make certain that all parts are working in your behalf & there may be times when certain myths or patterns must end."...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
Most of us have little idea as to how to address the core of our secrets. In fact, we tend to avoid them, or at the very least, may agree to address what is on the surface. In secret eating, as in most secret behaviors, surface work is not going to give a permanent solution to the issue. Taking secrets apart is extremely difficult, even when working with a very skilled psychotherapist, because so many facets live in the unconscious mind, tucked well away from consciousness. However, working with the subconscious mind can certainly bring about sufficient change. Perhaps most importantly, the individual who works with their subconscious mind can feel the benefit of being empowered & that in itself can bring forth powerful behavioral changes.
SPEAKING THROUGH IMAGES
Aida & the group each held a symbol of their secret eating on their lap. The first order of business was for them to notice what it wasn't. To be sure, it wasn't their entire Self & it wasn't very big. In fact, it was smaller than each had made it out to be & Aida mentioned that she felt like laughing as she studied it carefully.
As silly as this exercise may seem, it always proves to be a very important one. Putting a face or shape to a problem or issue, allows the owner to manage it in a totally different way. This concept also works well for pain management. When the individual is experiencing pain, it's important for them to change the representative image in size, color, consistency, etc. This personal involvement removes the individual from the dangerous position of helplessness & empowers them by giving them a level of control.
I ask the group to put the symbol of their secret eating aside & now I give them a picture of a large landscape that seems to go on forever. This image is symbolic of their "big picture" or "big story." The secret eating is their "small or limited story." It is here that Aida & the group get to choose what they truly want; to live in the rigid confines of the secret disorderly eating or to let it go.....actually to let it die......so that the "big picture" of unlimited living can be their model for life. Without making this decision, the limited symbol will continue to fight with the unlimited symbol for supremacy, each wanting to be in charge of the perspective lenses used to view the world.
This is more than letting go. It is actually inviting a death to a part of oneself that has most likely been around for a very long time. Yes, it will be uncomfortable, especially in the beginning, but it will also be uplifting at the very same time. The mind & body prefer to go towards positive experience & sensations & so they will help to bring the individual to a higher level of living. The experience of living an unlimited, creative life is huge. Anything & everything is seen or considered possible.
For someone who has been living a limited, tight existence, this drastic change carries it's own motivation. The crux is taking the step to bring forth the death of the limited life. Writing or delivering programs for the individual who is marking their life at this moment, is extremely fulfilling for the therapist.
It will be important for Aida to fully disassociate from her secret & to spend some time examining it, before allowing it to die, the reason being that there are nougats of knowledge or little jewels that she will want to integrate into her new, limitless life model. She may not see them clearly, but they will shine out to her & her intuition will guide her towards them. It isn't always necessary to see or know exactly.....the felt sense is the most important sense in these moments. As Aida was lead to the jewels, she carefully extracted them & delivered them to her "inner guide" who was assisting her in her life changing "move."
As she explained her experience to the group, "I feel at peace & I'm now ready to cut the cord. There is no fighting between the two. I know that the secret wants to leave. As strange as this may sound, I feel that it truly wants to die & to be in it's own peace. There is a part of me that will miss it, because I truly loved it in ways that perhaps only I can understand, but now it is time & everything feels very right with what is happening."
As Aida moved into her new life experience, she felt uplifted. It had been a very long time since she felt this much freedom & excitement about her life choices. Yes, there were going to be some uphill battles, but this was life afterall & battles were part of the experience. There would be times when she would wish that he old "friend" were still alive & waiting for her at the door in the evening, but that would never happen, because she knew that she had attended it's funeral & so in those moments of reflection, she knew to spend healthy, quiet time with herSelf & with her inner child, who indeed was the biggest mourner of all.