Are love and food connected?
I just read a wonderful post that summarizes exactly what I was going to write about food addiction. Addiction to food is the same as drinking addiction actually. It is a search for love.
Addiction is a spiritual search. We are all addicted in a way, in the sense that we all seek love, to God, acceptance, wherever it never is: in success, fame, wealth, power, even through enlightenment. We seek love outside of ourselves, ignoring the love we already are. We seek our unity in the future, through objects, substances, people. We look for love in a glass of wine, in a bank account statement, in the eyes of our teacher or our parents.
I invite you to read two sources that can help put light or awareness on our daily life and how we relate to food and drink.
- post about the addiction to the drink: here of the book ‘The Deepest Acceptance’, of Jeff Foster
- the book “When food is more than food” by Gennen Roth. You can find more information on her web
“- I’m not hungry, but I want to have, I want to eat anyway.
– Because it looks good and I have it in front of my nose. It is the best consolation of the city. What’s wrong with seeking comfort in food?
– Nothing at all. The food is good and the comfort is also good. The only problem is that when we are not hungry and what you want is comfort, food is no more than a temporary relief, why not go directly to the cause of your discomfort?
– It’s too hard to face things directly, too painful … at least I have the food
– So, according to you, the best you can get from this life is a cold vegetable soup?
…. It reminds me of family dinners. My mother drank, my father got angry and nobody spoke. It was horrible.
– How did you feel at that time?
– Alone, fatal, as if born in the wrong family. I wanted to run away, but I had nowhere to go, I felt trapped ….
In the center of this wound – I have been abandoned and betrayed by someone and what really matters and what I have left is food – is where the link between food and God is found. It marks the moment when we have given up on ourselves, with respect to change, to life. Mark the place where we feel fear, the feelings that we do not allow ourselves to feel, and with that our life is restricted and becomes barren. In that isolated situation we are one step away from the conclusion that God – source of goodness, healing and love – has abandoned us, betrayed us or has become a supernatural version of our parents.
– Have you surrendered? … ”
Extract from the prologue of the book “When food is more than food”
“I invited him, as an experiment, to STAY with the feeling of emptiness in his chest, to really feel it, to let go of any label or judgment about all that, to see it as a valid expression of life at that precise moment. Maybe that did not have the meaning he had believed in. When he stood still with that energy, feeling exactly what was there, he remembered being a child, feeling lonely, isolated and abandoned, and that energy in his chest feeling like … yes … the longing for something he could not describe … the longing for … love … Well, of course, that’s how it was … It was not the desire to drink vodka, not at all, it was a misunderstood yearning, the longing to receive attention, acceptance, love This was the same energy that he had felt as a child and from which he had tried, in different ways, to escape, deny, ignore, eliminate, annihilate everything that had to do with it. First through work then through spirituality and now through alcohol, as a last resort. His mind had been infinitely creative. This energy has never been seen before. It had become taboo. He had hidden in the darkness. It was a lost child of consciousness.
He had forgotten what it really was. He was not a separate “person”, he was not an “addict”, but the immense and unlimited ocean of Being, where even this small wave was allowed. This energy was not the lack of vodka, it was the longing for love made manifest. And it had never been fully recognized. He was so busy looking for love (money, enlightenment, vodka) outside of himself that he had overlooked his true longing! The lonely little boy had never been taken into account, validated, loved. Who would really welcome this child alone? Would he have to wait all his life for a love that would never come? Would I have to wait to find some cosmic father? A second maternal womb? Could vodka deliver that love to the child? Of course not. Vodka has absolutely no power. He was just an emperor without clothing. It was the Wizard of Oz, unmasked. The love he was looking for was the deep embrace of this lonely child, exactly as it was, and not his annihilation. He longed for acceptance, not genocide. In other words, he had always been waiting for the deep acceptance of that strange and uncomfortable energy in his chest. Now it was a very good moment to start giving himself what he had always longed for.
I invited him to stay and stay and stay with that energy and I stayed with him there. We sit together with your little unloved child, offering peace, warmth and attention to an aspect of the experience previously denied, unattended. This was something that vodka could never give him and he could never do it. Running away from this energy and running away for a vodka never really solved the problem. He had simply never learned how to sit still. How to stay with yourself How to meet life, without fear. We start again.
By confronting the previously ignored energy, with attention and presence, light permeated the darkness, so to speak. And we found that there had never been any darkness from the beginning. This energy was not lack of love. It was not a bad energy, it was not the devil, it was not a “bad” aspect of the experience, it was not the absence of life. It was the invitation to love what had never been loved before. It was a call to remember what he really was – the immense and unlimited ocean of consciousness, already complete, never needing anything that would come to complete it. Then, that sense of “lack” was swallowed up by love here, realizing that it was not even a lack.
With the mere fact of being with this man, exactly as he was, holding his hand while confronting his deep sense of lack, with that primary fragmentation that is the root of all human suffering, I was communicating something beyond words – that He was perfectly fine, just as he was at that moment. That he was safe in a place where he had never felt well. That he was safe in that indescribable, private and even shameful place. That he was worthy of love, even without the help of vodka. What a revelation! His present experience could be exactly as it was. The raw sensation of life. Thoughts emerging by telling him, demanding him, forcing him to drink to find love (the original lie). The full color image of the happy drinker, drowning his sorrows in the vodka … Go on, just a drink! It’s so tempting! Just a sip and you’ll be in heaven! … Those thoughts were also being admitted there. All of them were just images. Images and sensations. And what he was, was really enough to admit all that. The vodka dream was only a small wave within its own immensity. Vodka could not improve one’s present experience. I could not give you more LIFE. It is not magic, nor does it have mana. What a disappointment. And also, what freedom! ”
Excerpt from the book ‘The Deepest Acceptance’, by Jeff Foster translated by Tarsila Murguía to Spanish.