MY FEBRUARY WRITING CHALLENGE: DAY 10 OF 28
I’m doing a lot of work in terms of reconnecting with the process of feeling my feelings. Emotional Intelligence is defined as “ the ability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior”. And as it turns out, I’m not so great at, well, any of that.
When I first noticed that I was eating for reasons other than physical hunger, I began my journey into understanding the power of emotional “hunger”. I knew there was more to the way I was using food than just to fuel my physical body. Food is the mechanism that I have used to soothe any discomfort for as long as I can remember. And using food in this way has lead me to carry a little bit of extra weight. Also for as long as I can remember.
For a long time I assumed it was WHAT I was eating that was causing this and so I spent the first decade and a half of my life dieting. Controlling and manipulating my food in order to solve the “weight problem”. But when I finally got to the point that I was eating such a clean healthy diet 100% of the time and STILL keeping on weight, it occurred to me that there was something more. That perhaps food was just the “pill". It temporarily numbed the pain, but it did nothing to solve what was at the root of the problem.
Through a lot of my journaling and introspection, I realized that I had created a very solid habit of using food as comfort. Eating to take the edge off. Stuffing down feelings because I didn’t know how to deal with them.
Fast forward to today and I’m not doing a lot of deep work in order to reprogram myself to not just feel my feelings but to label them and eventually use them in a constructive way (hint: eating them away is DEstructive). The hardest thing for me has been remembering to check in. I’ve spent most of my life separate from my body, not wanting to feel, so I’m like a child re-learning a basic human behavior now.
In order to learn how to properly deal with my emotions, the first step is to create awareness around the fact that they are occurring and so I have set alarms to remind myself, every hour, to take a few moments and feel. To put words to the sensations in my body and to pay attention to where my emotional energy is located.
And though I have my moments of wondering if ignorance might in fact be bliss, there’s just something deep inside me that knows there is something really important on the other side of this self work. And I will practice and make progress, even in the tiniest amounts. And I shall start with awareness.