I remember my original fascination after learning that years of poor dietary habits can cause the hunger reflex to malfunction. In many cases, when dieters exchange those habits for a healthier lifestyle, the first order of business is learning to distinguish real hunger from a host of other sensations (such as thirst or boredom).
Digging deeper into this phenomenon, I see the tragedy in losing the natural reflex whose sole function is to trigger nourishment for the body. Without nourishment comes death. How do we exchange life for the act of eating all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons?
I liken this sad state of affairs to a game we play too often with our souls. During an anonymous game of question-and-answer, a curious player asked about the biggest mistake I ever made. My answer was almost immediate:
'I spent too much time living to the expectations of others, and turning the tide has been difficult.'
Like poor dieting, trying to live up to conflicting expectations meant replacing my heart's desire for meals served from another table. I ate when I wasn't hungry. I nibbled on junk food. I consumed the feast for parties that I shouldn't have attended. I set aside too many dreams for paths presented by well-intentioned spectators.
One day... almost in an instant... I experienced a deep interest in the Radical Honesty of my experience. (Yes, I even read the book which I highly recommend). I wanted to know how my personal desires correlated to my unique purpose on this earth. I grabbed a pen and paper. I desperately wanted to see "me" in writing. I wanted to know for sure, as LoveBabz teaches her readers to ask, "Who am I and what do I want?"
I stared at that blank slate in a state of disappointed disbelief. My hunger reflex was failing. The unique woman that God created me to be was hopelessly wrapped in layers of unfamiliar expectations. Suddenly, those layers became the lens through which I viewed life - the confining net from which I decided my next steps - the box from which I plotted my actions. None of it felt like it was mine.
At the age of 30, I had already eaten, digested, and processed too many meals that weren't designed for my anatomy. I absorbed the criticism that I should have repelled in exchange for acceptance. The salve for doubt soothed for a moment but caused more doubt when trying to answer my questions. To this day, I admire the "black sheep" rebels who refuse the lure of this exchange.
As I near my 40th birthday, I realize how much elbow grease I need to turn this lumbering ship. Faith tells me this experience wasn't a waste. I refuse to make any declarations that I 'wasted my life.' I learned too much along the way. The hard way. My flower is in bloom, and this exploration leaves me examining life with a childlike newness.
What will I find? I guess I'll share new discoveries in Part 2... and all the follow-up parts that I'll pen on this wild ride.
Welcome to "me" back to blogging. You ready?