Today is another tearful daily inspiration thought. 792 words, 6 minutes reading.
Once upon a time, there is an emperor cares about nothing except wearing beautiful clothes and dressing up. Two weavers came to the emperor and promised a new suit of most beautiful clothes. However, the clothes are invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent”.
Finally, a child, only a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
Sounds familiar? Exactly, it is the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Why do I tell you this story? How’s this story related to my title eating disorder?
Because we who suffer from eating disorders are the child in the story.
Emotionally sensitive and highly intuitive are the characteristics Dr. Johnson said about the group of us who had bad relationships with food.
We are the ones able to detect subtle and important things that common people won’t notice. We are the ones just like the child, who could find out the truth and not afraid to say it aloud.
With such unique gift, we were supposed to bring beauty and truth to the world. Somehow, however, our voices were ignored, ridiculed, dismissed, even… abused at the childhood period.
Therefore, for those of us, we learned to silence our voices, ignore our inner self, “quietly” follow the world, work hard to meet others’ expectations,
Just to fit in and get a sense of belonging.
I grew up in China, in a simple environment that study is the everything. My father studied so hard to college and lead his family out of poor country life. My mother went straightly to work as an accountant after high school and stayed behind the bank counter for 25 years. For my most of childhood, I was praised by my smartness, my good grades, my good behaviors in school…. the idea of “being a good student” deeply rooted in my mind.
Because it is, or I thought was, the only way I could get recognition and be in the spotlight.
However, my sensitivity, my emotions, and my curiosity of the world and people were never fully fulfilled and appreciated.
My middle school teacher forced me to write a letter about why it is wrong to share homework with classmates. As I questioned the school system and the way standing in front of the class to discuss this problem, he just completely ignored. In my adolescence, when I cried a lot to my mom why I am not attracted to boys, the only answer she gave me is I don’t know but you are pretty.
How could you blame your parents, through lack of knowledge, still work so hard to support you and love you?
Though we start with different reasons, we all ended with the same: suppress, ignore, feed, withdraw… for a long time that we almost forget.
Food is the medicine, the anesthetics.
Dr. Johnson mentions that the world seems not allowing one person’s feminine side. American culture values instead, the masculine side. The logical achievement, the amount of work you finish, the good grades on your transcript, the resume with detailed internship experience…. quantified and qualified, data.
However, the feminine side emotions, truth, voices, are viewed as sentimental, vulnerable, shameful, and unnecessary.
So is China. The society values efficiency and performance, but not humane.
People just forgot, it is the feminine side that holds the deepest truth, and masculine side is just the vehicle that brings the truth out to the world.
Therefore, for those of us with a bad relationship with food, we hide our voices behind food, stuff huge amounts of junks, and silence our sensitivity and intuition. The longer we struggle with eating disorders, the less time we need to deal with our simple but unmeet need – a community that a community that we could just be ourselves, be vulnerable, be emotional, be real… a community we belong.
So here is the tearful antidote for the eating disorder: Find our inner voices, and show them to the world.
We all want to connect with the world, but if you do not connect with yourself, listen to your voice — order the tasteless salad instead of the cheese hamburger you really crave for, major in accounting and follow most people instead of expressing your own wisdom through art and writing, commit to a relationship because others are doing so instead of actually enjoying it…..
Your inner self is crying to you, crying to be heard.
The hard part is never about making friends with food. What’s hard is asking your inner self,
what does the eating disorder want to tell you?
What are you gonna feed the empty spot after the food, the source of “joy” is moved away?
Are you really ready to sit and listen?