grace (eventually)…. thoughts on binging and dieting by anne lamott

i’ve been reading her, again, this anne lamott who says things i believe. it’s like she’s in my head, and i want to share her thoughts on binging and self-worth and Jesus with you, here below. (love to you all, on this healing journey…)

“whenever i want to either binge or diet, it means that there is some part of me that is deeply afraid. i had been worrying about (my son) more than usual, and only partly because he had just begun to drive. i had been worried sick about Bush for five years now. there was a terrifying epidemic of breast cancer in my county; like so many others, i had friends who were trying to survive. and lately i’d fallen back into my old habit of acting like classroom helper to the world, doing too many favors for people… i had been to a funeral. i had had a molar pulled. i had recently seen the skin on the back of my neck under fluorescent lights in a hotel mirror. i hadn’t seen it in years; not it looked like it was upholstered in a few inches of the Utah desert. everything was too much.

“all i could think to do was what every addict thinks of doing: kill the pain… anyone would understand if you binged every so often… even Jesus would, although somehow i don’t see him ripping open a package of Hostess Ding Dongs for me. but thinking of him reminded me that food would not fill the holes or quiet the fear. only love would; only my own imperfect love would.” (anne lamott, grace eventually, 53-54)

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the kind of love we’re all looking for

dieting four-year-old girl from Oprah's show

when asked what they wanted to do with their lives, her children answered “to love Jesus the best that we can.” and i wondered her secret, the secret of the mother behind these voices. she insisted, “nothing! i just pray.”

but then i learned this: when her youngest, who’d lost a friend, stopped talking for a week, she cancelled all of her appointments and cleared her schedule so that “when he decides to talk, i’ll be there to listen.”

when he decides. i’ll be there.

there’s so much to this role of parent, but this, i think, sums up the kind of love we’re all looking for: the kind that lets go, but never leaves.

she let him decide when he was ready to talk, but she swept everything else off the table and sat, waiting, for him to decide, and he knew. he knew that, by her doing this, he was her life. her children were her life. her number one ministry, and isn’t this what we all want? to be loved with this kind of love? the kind that longs for the best for us, the kind that has another life but is willing to die to it in order to help us live?

there’s no way to save your child from the pain. many will be forced to see things, to learn things, to know a kind of pain far too mature for any child, and there’s no way to stop this. the world will enter your home. but you can choose to be there when it does. sitting, waiting, and letting your child be the one who decides when to talk.

as Christ does, for us.

*for videos and lessons on how to walk in wholeness and healing, please visit here.

**PS. friends–just wanted to let you know about a great conference next month for those impacted by eating disorders and body image issues. i’m speaking at it, and can tell you it will be a great time of learning and inspiration for professionals and community members alike. this year’s theme is “A Family Affair” so we’ll be getting into all those fun family dynamics, and learning how to love well in the process of treatment and recovery. it’s at the Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado Springs June 15-18. click here to see a slideshow from last year, see this year’s schedule, and to register. and if the only thing that’s keeping you from going is funding, let me know!