Wednesday, August 22, 2007
"My Soul Hungered"
Somehow I got a rash on my shins. It is nearly invisible to the eye, but not to the nerve endings that are constantly irritated. This morning at 4:00 I woke up to the sound of my scratching. I can scratch and scratch but once I stop scratching, the itch remains, the relief is gone.
I think a lot about emotions. The ups and downs rule and govern how I eat, if I sleep, If I sing and dance, or mope and cry.
When I started this blog I wanted to discuss something purely emotional, something I had no words for. It is a phenomena to me. Something that I do that must be put into words to understand. I think I might be getting close.
There are times that I have found myself looking at a half eaten bowl of ice cream and I know I am not hungry and yet I continue eating. The next bite is already in line waiting for its turn to be shoveled in. My mouth can be full, and I can have no more hunger but my hand waits obediently to put more food in. I think “I don’t even know why I am eating this” and yet I continue.
As a girl I remember watching my dad coming home after work, or meetings at the church, and almost bracing himself at the table. One arm steadying him, the other feeding him. There seemed to be a trance-like state that he went into as he satiated his hunger. He was a very hard working man. Sometimes after finishing his food he would take the thing he was eating and kind of throw it from him with a look of disgust. I have done the same thing. I have left a table full physically and yet I am still hungry.
When I invited the spirit to help me lose weight, things changed. I felt certain promptings. Once while I was getting some chocolate pudding, the thought came to my head, “will that pudding fix what hurts?” “Once it is gone will the problems be gone too?” “Exactly how much pudding will it take to solve this problem?”
I found a scripture that put those promptings to words: 2Ne 27:3 “. . .it shall be unto them, even as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth but he awaketh and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite;. . .”
I have learned that my over eating has been like the scratching of my rash. My rash itches, I scratch, and while I am scratching I find relief, but if I stop the itch is back. I am left with two obvious solutions: I can either continue to eternally scratch until the skin is red and bloody, or I can go get help, and find the reason for the itch and then fix the problem so I will have no more need to scratch. While I am eating, I am temporally lulled into comfort and I find some relief, but when I stop, the comfort stops as well. Comfort has to be found with something that truly feeds and fills the viod, not food, but peace. Trying to fix that which is broken spiritually with temporal things will not work.
I have learned that it is impossible to feed my soul with that which perisheth. Look up “hunger” in the topical guide, This is not a new problem. Enos solved his souls hunger through prayer. Alma teaches the poor to “feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst”(Alma 32:42) Jesus tells the Nephites “He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled” (3Nephi 20:8)
The solution comes through prayer and communication with our Father. Even more important than exercise and menu planning is the need to have your souls hunger satiated, which can only be done through Christ. No amount of chocolate pudding can take His place.
I have had miracles happen in my life. I found a wonderful therapist through LDS social services. I was led to someone who helped me find what I was trying to fix with food. As I let go some of the old patterns and learned to replace them with healthy ones I was able to finally satiate that hunger. The fix may be different for each one of us, but will be taylored to meet your needs through the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for Christ in my life. I can say like Nephi “My God hath been my support he hath led me through mine afflictions. . .He hath filled me with his love . . . “(2 Nephi 4:20,21)