It happened again, I realize as I scan the room and take in the aftermath of my latest binge.
Numerous bags, wrappers, cans of diet soda, remnants of microwave low-carb meals, what I can assume was once a bowl of popcorn based on the grease and salt dusting the bowl, combined with marks from my fingers swiping against the plastic, in an attempt to devour every last morsel.
During these moments I found myself reflecting on a seemingly bleak future, wondering into the vastness if I would ever feel hope, attempting to imagine a reality in which I could make eye contact with myself in the mirror instead of the flitting glances I allowed myself at the time. That reality seemed to fall from my imagination as quickly as the box of Oreos to my left had been devoured. This feeling of loneliness and defeat was so deafeningly quiet that I immediately craved the sound of my throbbing eardrums that greeted me with consoling familiarity at the finale of a purge.
The feelings I felt in that room, surrounded by the mess I had created, was symbolic of how I was living my life and how I viewed myself. I was running. I was in a constant state of distraction, and I was attempting to satisfy a hunger that food (or alcohol…or men…or shopping…) could never satiate. Fear ruled my life and dictated each moment in which I lived.
What is the root of your biggest fear? That you’re misunderstood? Lonely? Rejected? Hurt? Out of control?
What are the fears that keep you from applying for the job? Making the phone call? Letting someone in? Leaving the relationship? Feeling your feelings without judgement?
As Susan Jeffers offers, Feel the fear and do it anyway. Because, I would like to suggest, our worst fears have already happened.
All those fears listed above…I would dare to surmise you’ve felt them all before. And yet here you are.
Acknowledging that you may have experienced these feelings previously is not meant to undermine or disregard current fears, as fear can certainly serve a purpose in an appropriate setting. But holding you back from sharing your full potential with the world that so desperately needs your true you-ness is not one of them.
We can declare these fears powerless over our lives by reflecting on times in which we experienced them and how we chose to process them. Perhaps reflecting on how we handled these past situations allows us to recognize a change we should make in our coping skills. Or perhaps we can reflect on how strong we have been, how amazingly resilient we are, and how the Universe has supported us through it all. Think of time in which you were rejected. How did you feel? How did you navigate these feelings, and what did you learn from this experience? How can you utilize these new skills to put yourself in a vulnerable position, because you’ve already been rejected and have become a new person with a new set of skills because of it? And also- how miraculous is that?
When I experience moments of loneliness or anxiety now, I’m able to reflect on times in my life in which I’ve experienced that same feeling. Because I know within my entire being – the same being that sat in that room and told myself I was unlovable- that my worst fears have already happened. I’ve experienced them, I’ve sat with them, I’ve gotten to know them intimately, and I’ve learned from them. It is my deepest hope that you are able to take this journey as well. Because it is so worth it, and you are so worthy.
Author: Jessica Smith
Author Bio: Jessica Smith is the co-founder of Good Vibes Tribe Cincinnati, a grassroots organization committed to overcoming negative body image and empowering individuals through yoga, meditation and community. She is a 200 RYT currently serving as a yoga and mindful meditation facilitator in a prison and juvenile detention center in addition to serving in a shelter for women who have survived sex trafficking and prostitution. Her personal journey towards recovery from an eating disorder and body dysmorphia have empowered her to connect with others with empathy and authenticity. Yoga has allowed Jessica to view her body as a conduit of strength, and it is her passion to serve others in discovering their own strengths. When she’s not on her mat, she can be found experimenting with new vegan recipes, savoring wine with friends and hiking with her dog, Zoe.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @jessaleighsmith | Twitter @jessaleighsmith | https://jessaleighsmith.com