Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Twistin' the Night Away

I’m a very light sleeper.  I toss and turn all night and the littlest noise wakes me up.  It gets very frustrating some nights as I also can’t turn off my brain.

I’m currently reading Geneen Roth’s book Women, Food, and God.  It’s a really good book and as I read it before I go to sleep I tend to ruminate on what I’ve read and turn it over and over in my mind as I drift off.  The title of the chapter I have been reading is “It’s Not About the Weight but It’s Not Not About the Weight”.  It delves into the why’s we eat and how we might be upset about our weight but that it's really a deeper issue that's going on and that it's not really about our weight.  She states we use food to fill a void in our life.  Just like alcohol, sex, and drugs or whatever other choice of self-sabotage you might use to cause problems in your life. 

Roth also talks about how we have to learn to put the past in the past.  One very interesting concept that had me thinking a lot was when she wrote about adults who have problems with their parents or upbringing and feel that their parents owe them something, whether an apology for how they were raised, or some other unfinished business from their childhood.  How they blame their current issues on whatever happened to them as a child. Her contention is that you are now an adult and as an adult have to realize that your parents are older too and that the dynamics are now different and the apology or changes you needed as a child isn’t the same as what you need, or don't need, from your parent’s now.

It’s funny that I read that last night and how appropriate it was for a situation I had at work today.  I always post the current month’s birthdays on a readerboard in the office.  One of my co-workers came in and asked me to remove his name.  He said that when he was 13 he was so excited that he was becoming a teenager and couldn't wait for his birthday.  But he went on to say that it was also the first of many times that his parents forgot his birthday.  He told me he doesn’t like to celebrate it because of that and asked me to remove his name which I did.  He said that he lets his wife and daughter celebrate it but otherwise wants it to be just a normal day because he has bitter feelings towards his parents due to these past experiences.  

What popped into my head first of all was why are you still allowing your parents to define how you celebrate your birthday?  This is not a young man.  He is in his 50’s.   There is no way that his parents can now go back and ever make up to him the fact that they missed several of his special days.  But he can and should now move forward and have the most rockin’, outrageous birthdays he can.  He needs to make himself feel special and to celebrate himself the best he knows how and not look back.  

It also made me realize I need to fill the empty spaces of missed birthdays (metaphor here), low self esteem, self doubt, longing for a relationship, etc. with joy instead of food for whatever I feel is lacking in my life.  There is no blaming our history or our parents.  There is only the present and how we treat ourselves now and how we regard the future.  I want to follow Louise Hay’s advice and look at myself in the mirror each morning and say, “I love you”.  And I want to have a rockin' good time doing it!  That would definitely be Joylicious!

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