Sharing Invalidates Shame
Emotional isolation is a common and painful symptom of an eating disharmony. It’s not easy to reveal our pain and struggles, especially in today’s society, where is so much pressure to be the perfect woman, partner, mother, colleague, daughter, sister, boss, etc. – and sometimes the whole lot at once!
The more imbalanced our eating behaviour is, the more intense the shame we feel. Which means many women are coping in secret. And, in fear of being found out, many of us become masters in pretence and deception, which only serves to compound the original shame we feel when struggling with food in the first place. This is particularly true for those of us who purge, where fear borders on terror at the thought of ‘being caught’.
However, women are creatures who need to express. Just by talking, we offload and find clarity. When we’re not keeping our stories flowing, our emotions build up in us and cut off our joy. Even worse, if the creative force is not able to express itself outwardly, it begins to turn in on itself and becomes self-destructive.
By remaining isolated, we feed the feeling that we’re unacceptable, unlovable and unworthy of self-forgiveness. In sharing, we find that we are not alone, that we are human – and, as such, we’re all vulnerable. In that very vulnerability, we discover we’re already perfect in our imperfections, and brimming with radiant potential.
As humans, we’re here to grow in our understanding of our true nature and gifts. Part of that is learning by making mistakes and resolving them. Another part is discovering what we’re not, because, in doing that, we also reveal to ourselves what we are. Sharing, therefore, is like the opening of the lotus flower of our being. We blossom to greater and greater authenticity, let go of all the judgements of what we think we should be, and become humbly unapologetic for who we are. Sharing invalidates Shame.
Now, I don’t recommend that you charge off and share with your family, friends, or whoever, straight away. First of all, you might not feel ready for that. Even so, be aware that there will be a time when you will feel ready. Bide your time: there’s no need to rush this. Secondly, there’s a huge difference between opening up to those who can understand and those who aren’t capable of doing so. Some of us are blessed to have supportive family and friends, or a fabulous therapist; many others of us have to look much further afield. For sure, you don’t have to share with someone just because they’re close to you or because they ought to have the professional capacity to handle it.
Discernment is paramount when choosing with whom you might confide. Be sure that they respect you, that they’re kind and have the maturity of consciousness to be able to listen. Allow that person to reveal their worthiness to you, as someone who is to be entrusted with your story. If there’s no one like this in your life at present, seek them out. There are lots of wonderful therapists, especially holistic ones, who will have the presence to hear you authentically.
I offer a Get Acquainted Call with all women who are interested in mentoring with me for precisely that reason - so that we both can feel if we're a good match to work together. It's so important!
If you're interested in working with me, I have a few mentoring places available in my new programme Rescue & Recovery Guided, which is perfect for women who are struggling to free themselves from bingeing & purging and would like the personal support of someone who has been through it and out the other side.
Whatever path you choose to share, please remember to be gentle with yourself and, as ever, listen to what feels right for you.
With blessings x