Updated: May 3
I read an interesting and thought-provoking quote from Voltaire this week. “It is difficult to free fools from the chain they revere.” Sweet sisters, I don’t believe I am a fool, nor are you, but, speaking for myself, I have definitely been fooled in countless ways by ED (eating disorder).
One of the key assumptions I hold, is that the majority of eating disorders begin with a diet. American women have been fooled into revering thinness at a very young age, at all costs. As a culture we revere thinness, especially as women, in women, at all cost which literally strips us of our mental and physical health, and even the desire to get the help we deserve. We have normalized dieting, and restriction which in turn can set up the whole binge, purge, restrict cycle. And for many of us we develop a life-threatening eating disorder. Be forewarned, that our Wellness culture is just re-packaged diets. And your weight is not indicative of your health, or wholeness.
Did you know that 95% of diets fail and most will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years Source: Statistics on Weight Discrimination: A Waste of Talent, The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (http://www.cswd.org/index.html) And yet we have been fooled time and time again into revering a lightness of our body at the expense of the weight of our souls.
Think for a moment about the character traits our culture values; Power, determination, creativity, self-discipline, and being in control or having control, just to name a few. Being so poor in spirit and self-esteem, I didn’t know how to harvest these qualities and express them in a safe way that could be heard, but I figured out a way for these qualities to be seen. I could show the world that I had power, determination, creativity, self-discipline and control by domineering my body. While at the same time destroying it. Oh how eating disorders are filled contradictions!
You see, ED takes all of the things our culture reveres and convinces us that we are powerful, determined, clever, self-disciplined, and most of all…in control when everything seems out of control. This feels awesome, until it doesn’t! This chain doesn’t hold us to anything, we drift until the weight nothingness pulls us under. And feeling the weight of nothingness will settle in one's soul regardless of your eating disorder. The very thing we turned to for power, control and strengths weakens us mind, body and spirit. We are left far too weak to deal with the real issues that have left us poor of spirit and thirsting for self-esteem.
We fall for the lies that Satan would have us believe that seeking these qualities are the panacea for all the has left us poor in spirit and self-esteem. Instead of seeking His face for the healing of the wounds that actually bind us, we settle for this worldly illusion. We live from the outside in, instead of the inside out. This is the place where our True Self exists with the Holy Spirit. This is where the healing begins from wounds of abuse, abandonment, neglect, and perfectionism (to name a few).
God’s desire for us is to live in freedom and not chained by something “foolish.”
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yolk of slavery.” (NIV)
Revering the world’s “promise” that power, control, etc. will bring one peace, joy, and contentment, left me tired, sick and void. It was in seeking His face that I began to receive the things in life that really mattered, The Fruit of The Spirit. God warns us earlier in Galatians 5 to not live by “the flesh” because in doing so you will not inherit the kingdom of God. Here is what he promises to those of us who live by the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
How lovely are these qualities? As I continue to seek His face in recovery, giving up control, my “yoke of slavery” (anorexia) has almost lost its grip and I desire the fruit of the spirit more than anything the world tells me is valuable. Matthew 11:28-29 “come to me, all you who are who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
How can you lean into His gentle and humble heart and rest?
The Rest of God, this is where the healing begins!