Lots of reader friends write me about emotional connections with food. Here are two recent notes:
After 40 years of yo-yo dieting, I'm starting to see all the emotional "stuff" connected to food...both good and bad. Some of the best memories I ever had were spending time with my mom watching old movies and eating fresh, warm donuts. But on the other side, there was much violence and abuse from my dad and I would "calm and love" myself with many pieces of cinnamon toast...It's humiliating but true...
I have a really hard time letting go of bad things that have happened in my past. What can I do to let them go?
I’m going to be real and honest, as I always am, and say I know very well how easy it is to recall and relive a negative past, too much, too often. I have discovered that it’s a bad habit of mine to be very negative. Like many others, I did have problems in my childhood and teenage years. As a matter of fact, I had some really severe problems, which I have written about in my book, and shown in my video programs. But you know what? They are really over. They made me who I am today, good and bad. It’s over, thank God, and still a part of me, but my past is not the whole me; it’s only one piece.
What helped me get some distance on the past is this: At one point I got reacquainted with one of Isaac Newton’s laws. "To every action, there’s an equal or opposite reaction." I then began to realize that everything in God’s beautiful world, this physical universe, contains opposites. It is impossible to have something without an opposite: without darkness there can be no light. Happiness comes from first experiencing sadness.
Note that Newton said "action." To get past the past, to rise above the negative, it takes action. You have to take action to let the past go; effort needs to be made to see the bright side of the dim--and to understand how the pains of the past helped strengthen you for the joys of today. For the past to be over, you need to live fully in the present. I still sometimes catch myself in the "victim" role, and overemphasize the negative past. Now, though, I ask God for help to be completely real and honest, and do the best I can to fully experience a range of emotions and actions, the negative and the positive together, as God made them--and as God made me! Most importantly, I make an effort to be with God, always, and feel the love imbedded in me, and in my life.