This Void Can Never Be Filled By Food
Have you ever experienced a time when you ate, but knew deep down you weren’t hungry? I think we all have!
Who gave that leftover pepperoni pizza a voice…and why does it keep calling your name? What exactly is this faint, subtle sensation in your gut that you’re misinterpreting as hunger? There’s definitely something there…but is that something hunger?
Yes and no.
Yes- it’s hunger; but not physical hunger.
It’s an emptiness; a void seeking to be filled…but not with food. In fact, attempt to fill it with pizza or even carrot sticks, and you’ll notice the food goes right through you. Not physically, but just as if there’s a hole in the bottom of this imaginary empty container, it just leaks right out. The void is still present, and now you feel guilty for having eaten the damn pizza… and totally befuddled because you’re still “hungry” for something.
What is this hunger?
So what exactly is this emptiness, marked by the erroneous sensation of physical hunger?
It’s a longing.
A longing expressed by that deeper part of you that never ages. It was there before your birth and will continue on after your physical body fades away. I call it my higher self. Some call it soul; others call it the “silent witness”. You can call it Eleanor if you’d like…or nothing at all. The name is irrelevant.
It helps to visualize this deeper part of you as a tiny flame that remains unswayed by even the most turbulent of storms. There it rests, without a flicker…no matter what.
What’s it longing for?
So what exactly is Eleanor ? longing for?
If you aren’t listening, you’ll miss the whisper:
- Notice me!
- Use me!
- Here I am…the source of all your strength.
What causes the empty feeling in the first place?
The emptiness can be triggered by any event whereby you feel a loss of power:
- an argument with your spouse or teenage daughter
- serious illness of self or family
- impossible boss, etc.
Just think of any occurrence in life where food is your fruitless antidote. Yep- that’s the one. Congratulations, you’ve unearthed one of your triggers.
That’s step number one.
For me, this void, this “hunger”, appears when I am in my creative space and hit a stumbling block. As I search for the next word, the unsettling sensation begins to simmer. At the moment it reaches boiling, I’ve lost my chance…I always choose food. And of course, that food leaks right out…every single time.
I promise, if you wait too long– and I’m talking seconds here– you too will miss it, and turn to the cookie(s). You may even try to convince yourself that this looming emptiness is physical hunger.
It never is.
How do you satisfy this hunger?
So how do you plug the hole and fill the void? How do you make that emptiness disappear? By filling it with a moment of presence.
This is step two.
As I shared in THIS POST, you are not alone- you never were and never will be. Surrender to this knowing by closing your eyes (or not), and tapping into this always available, ever-flowing stream of strength. There are two ways to do this- pick the one that speaks to you:
When you take a conscious breath or place your hand on your thumping heart, it’s not really you who is doing the breathing and beating. Go ahead, I dare you to try beating your own heart. Better yet, tell it to stop beating. Command your lungs to stop filling with air.
You’re not really in control
We think we’re in control, but we’re really not.
And as soon as you recognize this, the door to your strength will open to you. It’s like we spend our whole life trying to open this door by pushing on it, and after a while we give up because it makes no sense to push on a locked door. Yet when we take a moment to notice, we discover that the door was never locked…we’ve been pushing, when we should’ve been pulling.
Pushing is seeking without for the answers (cookies, pizza, your mother).
Pulling is going within.
Food is powerful. But…
Let me tell you something…
Food is extremely powerful…but only when you attempt to put on your big girl pants and face it alone. Again, the downward spiral can happen in a split second– empty feeling, fill it with a truffle. Why? Why not? It’s there (and tastes amazing).
This can happen 46 times a day, but the moment you wake up, stop pushing and instead pull inward– take a conscious breath or place your hand on your heart to remember– you’ve stepped into your power. And it was there all along.
It’s all so simple.