I recently listened to a podcast that left me thinking. I am drawn towards people that make me think, grow and evolve towards a better version of myself. Lewis Howes regularly pops up in my podcast list. One of his latest guests, Glennon Melton, talked about her struggles with eating disorders. What got me thinking was her portrayal of her eating disorder as a safe place for her to hide, a self-created island where she felt home, safe.
Although I never quite thought of it like that, this statement resonated with me. It probably resonated more with regards to what I experienced with my former significant other and her struggles with ED. We met while we were both struggling with ED, although I was almost done with it. Over the next years, I get her out of it , as gently as I could. But it was rough. On her and myself. Unconditional love made me go back to that dark and cold place I once called home myself, to come and get her. It took a very long time for her to come back with me, but I stayed on her side the whole time, out of love. Once you make it out, it somehow leaves you exhausted, and although it wasn’t purely my struggle, I had to catch my breath once we made it through.
But something felt wrong. It didn’t take me long to realise that she left a piece of her behind. How could I have missed that! It took her so long to recover from that seemingly endless fight that I am not entirely sure whether she realised that something was missing. Maybe the fact that I knew her so well, back when she was whole, full of life –although prisoner of her self-made prison– made me the only person to sense that she didn’t fully let go.
This left me with two choices. Go back to maybe find the missing piece, or let go of her. But I just couldn’t go back. I don’t know whether I was afraid or whether I truly didn’t have the power to go back anymore. I probably couldn’t take the pain anymore. I remember that when I came back from my own fight a friend once asked me whether I felt that I could ever fall back into it. I answered that I genuinely believed that I was done with it, but in the same sentence I couldn’t hide the fact that in the case I was mistaken, I was certain not to be able to make it out a second time. I made it out once all by myself, I got back in to get someone else out, I think I was afraid that I could stay if I would ever enter that place again. I wish I could have summoned the courage to go back. In case you have ever seen What Dreams May Come, I wish I would have found the same love. But I didn’t.
To this date, although we live separate lives, I still believe that I am the only person to know that small corner inside of her she couldn’t fill with light. I am so grateful that I don’t call it home anymore.
What is happiness?
I made a habit to listen deep inside myself as often as possible, and make sure I am rooted in happiness. If I catch myself being immersed and lost into too much every day drama, I stop to direct my attention to my higher consciousness, my high-speed router to happiness. Being happy for me is just that, being happy. It is the realisation that nothing else is needed at this very moment. So at it’s very core, being happy is being. This is a beautiful cinematic glimpse of happiness …
Sometimes I wonder whether the sheer simplicity of happiness makes it somehow boring, but then I realise that it represents only the foundation upon which my own character can develop and thrive without the fear of losing anything or failing at something. The ability to access happiness at any moment gives me the freedom to try anything, because I am detached from outcome and live without fear of failing. What can go wrong in life? Nothing. What could go possibly wrong when all that can happen to you is to live. It is a freedom that I cannot believe I ever lived without. To know that many humans live in constant fear of failing, most of whom might never know what it feels like to be truly free, is disturbing and very sad. I am not sure what to wish for them, a bit of relief or to sink deeper in despair to maybe finally wake up from it.
I am truly grateful that my journey through life gave me the gift of true contentment and happiness. Being able to clear the mind of its constant chatter makes me come back from any outward dream I might be temporarily stuck in. I cannot believe how obvious the message of The Matrix is and that people just fail to see it. Then again, a familiar nightmare might be more bearable to some people than an unknown paradise. Happiness could after all be just a choice …
As far as I can remember, I never felt like I belonged in this world. I came through it, but was not from it.
Being a hypersensitive person means lacking all filters that dampen outside stimuli and information. I would compare it to being touched after having peeled off your skin … not a very pleasant idea! I always experience the world in its most raw, intense state. It usually takes all my energy to stay present.
Although I evolved strategies to keep my exposure to unwanted ‘energy drains’ to a minimum, my early childhood was rather traumatic for me. I feel like I froze the moment I was born. I felt like Leeloo in the Fifth Element when learning what the human race is doing to itself.
The utter dis-ease and nausea I felt at the time had nowhere to go. The only way I found to give my feelings a voice was to stop eating. My eating disorder lasted for more than ten years and robbed me of most of my childhood and adolescence. Although this sounds cliche, I would never trade this experience for the world. What it gave me, or made me be, is endlessly more precious than any pain could make me forget.
Also, it made me collide with so many wonderful souls that bore similar burden and I grew every single time from it. I will never forget a particular encounter with a girl named Mel. We never actually met. Instead, we wrote each other every single day, sometimes several times a day, and spoke to each other a few times on the phone. Mel was in institutionalised care in a different country for borderline disorder and her tendency to harm herself. We grew closer every day and soon there was nothing off limits, off topic that we did not talk about. As a hypersensitive person, you learn to evade too strong of an outside stimulation and when you venture in uncontrolled environments never without a pervasive, lingering wariness. With Mel, there was no such feeling. We let each other in completely, unconditionally. We learned so much about each other and about ourselves because we turned ourselves inside-out in the process. At the end there was no corner of our consciousness that we had not exposed and explored, together. Unfortunately we lost contact, most likely because she was transferred to another institution. I did never find her again.
In your own life, be open and vulnerable. You will be stronger and happier for it, and you will attract the right kind of people in your life. If only a single person opens up to you to the extent that I experienced with Mel, there will be nothing else you will ever need in this lifetime. You will have found life’s true and only purpose.
“But for now just let me lie. Bind up these broken bones. Mercy bend and breathe me back to life. But not before You show me how to die.” Audrey Assad – Show Me.
This blog is about release … the letting go of the ego, which can be considered a death in itself in as far as individuals are usually fully identified with a conditioned, limited version of themselves, their ego.
My ego is drawn towards pain. Pain defined my life for so long that it became the place where I feel home, where I feel comfortable and safe. I defined myself and judged others by how much I/they could endure.
Healing from eating disorders finds its source in true love. Unconditional love. This love can be either received from someone else, or realised as life itself. Either way, the attachment to pain needs to be overcome to let love in. Letting go of what Eckhart Tolle defines as the pain-body was the hardest thing I have ever done. I still feel so much comfort and satisfaction from losing myself in suffering and pain, even if only as a thought form. My ego longs for the outside recognition of the pain I endured, longs for sympathy, respect and recognition, and for someone to confirm my regard of pain as something beautiful.
“Here you are down on your knees again
Trying to find air to breathe again
And only surrender will help you now
I love you please see and believe again”
Flyleaf – Again
My struggle and challenges showed me how to die, how to distance myself from what I thought I am and realise what I truly am. A nightmare is and remains the fastest way to waking up, to realisation, and nothing predisposes more to having nightmares than lacking the ability to desensitise oneself to this utterly twisted dream we live.
“A song for a heart so big. God couldn’t let it live.” Jimmy Eat World – Hear you me.
Wow, my first blog!
I thought I immediately post a first blog after creating my account, otherwise I would just procrastinate.
Why did I create a blog account? I guess I just what other people did … I just followed an inner urge to get content out. I want to blog because there are things I want to share, or maybe just write down. I just cannot bear any longer not to write about my thoughts and feelings.
I feel that it is getting increasingly difficult to have real, long conversations with people in this day and age. Technology overrides ancient ways of communicating. But at the same time it is getting easier to access peer groups, however small they are, to access like-minded people with shared experiences, shared thoughts and maybe a similar wish to be part of something bigger.
My wish is to create a series of blogs that might be useful to other people, in any possible way. The content will revolve around my daily efforts to ‘live wide and love deep’, my early and ongoing struggles with being a hypersensitive person, the spiritual journey I am on and my intentions to become every day a little bit more the best human being I can be.