Are these traits a blessing or a curse in their recovery?
Feeling compelled to be busy is a chance to escape from what it is that they don’t want to see. Eventually, they don’t know how to live without constantly occupying their time. They feel that the more that they can achieve, the happier they may be. Even so, once they achieve their goals they still feel as if something is wrong, and they drive themselves to stress and exhaustion.
This goal-driven, competitive behavior is ego-based. When I say ego-based I partially mean what naturally comes to mind, a narcissistic behavior, but also the idea of “living in your head”. Living in the head is similar to going through life with blinders. It keeps us on the go, we work harder to be better, and we become lonely and fearful, all the while not paying attention to the world happening around us.
That is of course, I mean, paying attention without constantly comparing ourselves with others, which is more than common in clients with eating disorders. I do realize that this is common for everyone in the known world, but this constant comparison is one of the driving forces for the behaviors that hold them captive. They subconsciously compare themselves to others, seeing those individuals as more successful, smarter, and more attractive. At the same time, they judge themselves subconsciously and outwardly, as less successful, less smart, and less attractive.
The world they live in is narrow, and they forgot that there is another way to live. A way that allows them to slow down and breath. A way that accepts them just as they are. This way honors their feelings, which in comparison to living in the head, is living from the heart.
Living from the heart allows individuals to start feeling and responding to their feelings. They learn to become their authentic, true self. By living from the heart, they begin to learn to love again. Love themselves, their talents, their skills and abilities, their bodies, and their friends and family. They start to see the world differently and bring a new awareness to their lives. When they start living from their heart, their vibration begins to rise. They become aware of their needs, they begin to treat their bodies differently, and they even approach their relationships in a different manner. In the beginning this is like a catalyst, propelling them to make changes elsewhere that may be surprising and new.
So how do you change from living in the head to living from the heart?
At first it’s uncomfortable. You may be resistant. This is normal because you may have been living in your head for so long. It can be hard and take time to change a lifelong habit or behavior, especially when it feels familiar and safe. This leap to trust your feelings can be overwhelming, scary, and unnatural. You may not trust yourself. You may feel vulnerable, and you may question if the feelings you are feeling are real. I assure you that there is way to overcome this uncertainty, trust your heart, and begin to listen to your feelings and respond to them.
A simple start is to practice gratitude. Instead of comparing what you don’t have and who you are not, begin to see all that you do have and begin to see your own magnificence. Gratitude has the power to enlighten your world!
Since it is such a shift, how do you start to practice gratitude if you never have before? You could begin to write down all that you are thankful for in a journal everyday. You might benefit from practicing affirmations that express gratitude for all of the beautiful things in your life. Mediations on the feeling of gratitude may be helpful. For example, I like to imagine all of the people in my life, one-by-one I thank them for all that they have shared with me, which has helped in my growth into who I truly am. Remember, just like starting any new habit, consistency is key. It may be hard and uncomfortable at first, but it does get easier, and once you start noticing the amazing benefits and positive changes in your life you wont be able to stop.
By living from your heart, you become open to love. It kind of makes sense right? The love from others and the love you have for yourself, are essential in brining the mind, body, and soul together to a higher vibration. Being at this higher vibration stimulates a positive outlook and more enjoyment in your life. You are no longer preoccupied with comparing yourself to those around you. There is no longer a need, because you will learn that you are exceptional in your own right by being your authentic self.
So start letting go of the goal-driven, competitive, ego-based, mind that is hindering your chance to obtain optimal wellbeing. The best place to start is simply listening to your heart.
If you would like to learn more about letting go of the ego and living from your heart, contact the Inner Door Center at 248-336-2868 for more information on our treatment programs or visit www.innerdoorcenter.com