By Lori Hanson
I find it intriguing as a society how differently we view each of these behaviors. Some are more acceptable or shall I say less offensive than others. And each comes with its own share of judgments and prejudices by onlookers.
The truth is, I can’t remember the last time I met someone who doesn’t have a little (or big) secret in their closet. A mechanism they use to cope with life…or a way to numb out and avoid it. We’ve just all chosen different paths of manifestation for our insecurities and/or poor self-esteem. Whether it’s at a conscious or sub-conscious level, we’re all searching. Looking for peace, happiness, health—our purpose in life.
The problem is most of us don’t even realize we’re using these behaviors to fill a void. Or what the void is. We all came into being without baggage. But as young infants and children we each picked up our share (some more than others) of baggage as we grew up. Our life experiences and the level of love and attention we received as youngsters began to shape our perception of and reaction to the world and our surroundings. We begin to react to circumstances through the filters we created to view the world based on our experiences. Ever heard the saying perception is reality? My perception of life viewed through the filter of my bulimia was completely different from how others saw me.
It’s so hard for many of us to accept and love ourselves, so we go looking for that acceptance and love in the form of food, alcohol, kudos from the boss for working 70 hours yet again this week, or being the envy of all the other mothers because of our abilities as superwoman. But these behaviors only help us to numb out and ignore the real issue.
In our current society this is made much worse (in my opinion) by the new addictions to cell phones, text messaging, iPods and the over stimulation that being attached and available to everyone 24×7 brings. As humans we need to shut down on occasion! We need to give our bodies the much-needed rest, solitude and down time to reflect on life. (Just like our cell phones and computers need to shut down and reboot on occasion.) How can we get in touch with our inner voice, that deepest part of our soul that knows why we’re here and what our true needs are when we’re always running and hiding?
Funny thing is whether it’s an eating disorder, being overweight, alcoholism, drug addiction, excessive gambling or sex, superwoman, workaholic or egomaniac…there is a common thread. We’re all looking for validation, comfort, love and acceptance. And all things we need to give ourselves.
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