It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.
We saw a whole lot of anger rising from Buddies this week! Anger at the food, anger at saying goodbye to food, anger at yourself, anger at your team, anger at the habits you’ve formed that you need to untangle, anger at wanting to let go of unhealthy food behaviors and yet not wanting to, anger at having to find new coping skills that aren’t harming yourself with food, anger anger and more anger. Grrrrrrr!
I’ve never been someone who subscribes to the “feelings aren’t facts” theory that abounds in the world of self-help. Mostly because I think you are a bunch of intuitive geniuses, Buddies. So, I find the concept rather invalidating – in fact, feelings can be super informative if we are curious about them… Let’s. Get. Curious.
Anger is a natural and rather automatic response to physical or emotional pain. It usually occurs when we are worried there is an obstacle to meeting our needs, when we are feeling rejected, threatened or are experiencing loss. Be nice about it! At its core, anger helps us flourish and stay safe.
Here’s the other thing about anger – it’s often what we call a secondary emotion – an emotion we are having about another emotion. Often we get angry becsaue we are feeling scared and sad. Looking at the nature of the anger you’re expeiencing right now, that may be pretty on the mark.
Buddies, making these big, brave changes in your life is most definitely unfamiliar, scary and can bring up some major sadness and grief. You’ve been a certain way for a long time, so it can be overwhelming to think of what life may be like with all of these changes you are making – even if they are healthy and supportive of the life that you want. How will these changes impact you relationship with yourself, with you loved ones, with the people you haven’t met yet? Will life be fun with the new life you are making with food? What will you do with all of the time you’re saving free from shame and self-destructiveness? And how do you manage when you miss your (albeit abusive) relationship with sugar, flour or volume?
While these feelings fear, sadness and anger are real, Buddies, they are not forever. Our feelings become problematic when we get reactive about them, hooked into them, let them linger without solution, or turn to unhealthy coping skills to deal with them – like overeating or shutting down and disconnecting. How is a buddy to cope when the feelings feel all too real? That, as we say at Beacon, is a problem to be solved.
I know you’ve got things to do today, so let me give you one of my most favorite skills to help to chill and not react to your feelings: RAIN, created by the amazing Tara Brach. You can read more about it here, and listen to a meditation on it here. #themoreRAINthemerrier #skillsskillsandmoreskills.
RAIN stands for:
R – Recognizing what is happening: Notice that you’re having a feeling and what thoughts, body sensations and other experiences accompany it.
A – Allowing life to be just as it is: Chill a minute and let it flow. Seriously, the feeling won’t kill you, and in fact, if you let it in, it will inform you and likely pass faster. #pinkyswear
I – Investigating inner experience with kindness: This is a tough one for many of us, but being curious and investigative instead of judmental and shaming will lead to better outcomes and perhaps even some relief! A good point of reference for me is to think about how I might treat someone I love who is experiencing this feeling and focus that love on myself.
N – Non Identification: You may be feeling angry sad or scared, but you don’t have to become it or let it define you wholly. Not letting yourself get too attached to the feeling is where the real freedom lies.
Let’s chat more about this, shall we? Who wants to hang at 8:30 tonight on Beacon’s Facebook Page for our Beacon Buzz Afterparty on FB LIVE?? Bring your questions, thoughts, comments, and ideas. #seeyousoon
BEACON IS HERE TO HELP – with all things food and weight! We’ve got you! Get in touch to schedule a 20 minute strategy session with Molly. Beacon can help in all sorts of ways – including our new E-SERVICES for those of you outside the NYC metropolitan area. And always stay in touch – your Beacon team wants to know what’s up! Shoot us an email and let us know all the things!
Sending you all the light, Buddies.