Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “miracles”

Opening My Own Miracle Door

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that so much of keeping boundaries around my eating is a spiritual practice. It’s as much about honoring my word, my soul, my heart and my relationships as it is about not eating sugar. The food came first, but the spiritual stuff keeps me from turning back to the food. They feed each other. I do the spiritual work, I don’t need to eat over being a jerk. I don’t eat, I can delve deeper into the spiritual work.

So months ago, I was talking to a friend who does what I do with food. And she was so angry because she had an addict friend/work partner and he would get sober for a few days and miracles would fall in his lap. People offering not just help, but opportunities! Big, gorgeous, sexy opportunities around work and art and life. And she was pissed! My friend has been sober for decades and she wanted miracles!

So, as my husband likes to (only half) joke, I got into my Lucy booth and gave her some really quality advice, if I do say so myself. I told her that she is a person who meticulously turns over rocks. That she is the epitome of leaving no stone unturned. But that she certainly has a “miracle door” just like her friend. And that she should go look for it and start opening it instead of metaphorically crawling around on her hands and knees flipping rocks.

Well a year later, my friend is having all of her dreams come true. She is making more money, working less. The pandemic changed the way she works and she has used it to her very great benefit. She has been performing her music in new ways. Is working on multiple new music projects. And she just got engaged *and* bought her vacation home in a Southern town she loved and lived in as a girl. 

And wouldn’t you know it, I got jealous! In my head I kept thinking “How come *she* is getting all of these miracles?!?!” 

I love the irony of this story. I love how proud I was of my brilliant advice. And how it never occurred to me to take it for myself. And how in the end I ended up in the same position as my friend. 

I have started looking at pictures of doors. Mystical woodland door art and photos of old colorful European doors and Arabesque doors with arches and key-hole shapes and round Hobbit hole doors from blockbuster movies and anything I can picture opening to let myself into a miracle, or to let a miracle out.

I am no stranger to miracles. Getting my eating under control felt like a miracle in a way that very few people can understand. When I was growing up fat, it felt like being fat was the worst thing I could be. I was shamed and humiliated, and I was put on diets, and I was told how simple it was to just stop eating. But it was not simple. In fact, it felt impossible. There was diet food. And I ate diet food until I had lost enough weight to go back to eating the foods I wanted to eat. Which would make me gain all of the weight back, plus more. And I knew that I could not live on diet food forever. And I knew I could not eat the foods I wanted in moderation. It was going to take a miracle for me to stop eating compulsively.

But I got that miracle. I have gotten to keep that miracle for 15 years. And it still feels like a miracle. It is still as wondrous and magical and awe inspiring to me as it has ever been. It has lost none of its shine. In fact, I am more grateful and honored to have found a solution now than I was 15 or 12 or even 5 years ago. My eating boundaries have carried me through so many difficulties and so much worry and sadness.

So I am looking for my miracle doors today. And I am grateful to have a way of life that reminds me that all I have to do on any given day is keep my eating boundaries. And that if I do that, I have a chance at something else. A relationship, or an opportunity, or a blessing. That I got one big miracle and it gave me the chance to find all of the other miracles.

Wow am I ever glad I didn’t quit 5 minutes earlier…

About seven years ago, when I had just quit sugar and stopped eating compulsively, people who had gone before me would say that if I kept boundaries around my food, my life would get better. They would tell me to just keep moving ahead. Not to quit 5 minutes before the miracle.

I don’t remember what I thought of that at the time. I don’t think I had much imagination for what kind a miracles they could have been talking about. Just not eating a whole cake seemed like its own kind of miracle. I vaguely remember thinking that not eating compulsively would have to be better. That being thin would be better. But I don’t think I thought it meant that my whole life would get better. And yet that’s what they were telling me. And not just me.

It’s what they would tell the woman going through the ugly divorce and/or the heart-wrenching custody battle. The one getting evicted. The one who just lost a job. They were telling people who were going through difficult and scary situations that if they just kept their boundaries around their eating, their lives would get better. That there were miracles if they just didn’t give up. If they just didn’t eat compulsively.

Now I sometimes tell people who are just starting out the same thing. And so many of them get frustrated. Or incredulous. Or even angry.

How can putting boundaries around my eating make my life get better? What does eating have to do with anything?

And I have to be honest with you. There are things about it that just plain don’t make sense.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of it makes perfect sense. I can see that I face things head on when I have my eating under control. That my first instinct is to deal with people and situations with honesty and integrity. That I don’t manipulate. And let’s face it, honesty and integrity simplify everything.

And I mostly make good choices. I am clear-headed. I am thoughtful. I trust myself. And I remember that if I make a choice that doesn’t work out well, I can go back with honesty and good will and do my best to make it better.

I like myself too. So I make most choices from a positive outlook, not from a place of fear. I don’t choose to hide myself, or appear in some affected or manufactured form in order to please someone. Or keep them from disliking, or judging me. I can be who I am. Comfortably. Happily.

And I am open to life. To good and bad. Every day that I keep boundaries around my eating, I am better able to go with the flow and roll with the punches. I’m able to show up for life exactly as it is. And that’s cumulative. I’m better at that today than I was last year, or the year before. I was better in 2008 than I was when I started in January of 2006. I get better at it every day I don’t eat compulsively.

But there really is something more to it too. Something otherworldly. Just like they told me seven years ago. Magic or Miracles or Kismet. Whatever. I don’t know what else to call it. And I don’t know why it happens. And from straight out of the blue. But it does.

Like now.

I’m in love. And he is too.

It’s sudden. It’s intense. But it’s beautiful and exciting. And a little bit surreal. And I’m so clear. And so honored. And so ready.

And I wasn’t ready until now. I can see that. I spent the last seven years getting myself to a place where I really and truly liked myself. And I spent the last two years making myself the kind of woman I wanted to offer as a partner. I even started writing this blog because I wanted to heal my heart so I could fall in love.

And just about as soon as I was ready, there he was. And he was ready too.

And it’s so incredibly easy. And perfectly comfortable. It all makes perfect sense.

I can imagine that it might look impulsive or ridiculous to the outside world. But then again, maybe not. We are not 19-year-olds. We have both lived. We are adults. Well into our 30’s. With some scars and some wisdom. And that makes it all the more magical to me. That instead of ending up jaded, we have young, pure hearts.

I had spent over 30 years resigning myself to the fact that I was unlovable and destined for loneliness. And then I wondered for several years if I could find love if I fixed myself up spiritually. So I did that.

And then about two years ago I tried to have faith. To trust that love would come. In God’s time, and on Life’s terms. And faith and trust were hard. And I didn’t do the best job with them. But it turns out I didn’t have to do them perfectly. I did them just fine in the end.

But this is one thing I am clear on. What I did get perfectly right was my commitment to the food. Not that I never made an honest mistake. I have made a few. But I never crossed a boundary willfully or purposely.

I got love because I put boundaries around my food. And I kept them. And I continue to keep them. I got love because 3 meals a day, for over seven years, no matter what has gone on in my life, I have practiced deep self-love. Nourishing my body with real food, and nourishing my soul with boundaries around that food.

How can putting boundaries around my eating make my life get better? What does eating have to do with anything?
Everything. I don’t know how it works. Or why. I just know it has made me available for love. And miracles. I just know that I kept my boundaries and my life got better. I just know that I am incredibly grateful that I didn’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle.

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