“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.”
― Geneen Roth
Please find below a wonderful post by Lauren Cowen, a brilliant recovery coach ‘who are you without The ED?’ This is a fundamental question every sufferer should ask themselves. The sad reality is ED erases our identity and replaces it with something that is vague and obscure. A person exists but exists as a slave to the demon of ED. Once a person who was smiling, fun and loving is now lost in the world of ED and becomes a mere shadow of its former self. I hope you’ll find the post below useful. Prayers for everyone’s healing.
Who Am I Without The ED?
Today I want you to know that you are more than your eating disorder.
Your eating disorder does not define you.
It is not who you are.
I know there is a HUGE fear of letting it go, and have you wondering… “WHO WILL I BE WITHOUT THE EATING DISORDER?”
This fear, this question holds SO many women back from exploring their true potential and finding their true authentic self.
Then you wonder…“What if I discover who I am and I don’t like it???”
I’ve got news for you… THAT is the eating disorder talking.
It will try to do all sorts of things to trick you into keeping it around.
To manipulate you into thinking that you NEED it.
You can’t live without her (or him or it… SO many of my clients have unique names for their ED, feminine and masculine such as Grendel, The Madness, Heather, Ed, Edna, Cujo, Mia, Ana, etc.).
It will LIE to you and convince you that you really aren’t that bad. That you don’t need help.
The reality, the truth is, that you wouldn’t be reading this if you DIDN’T need help.
If you were OKAY you wouldn’t be seeking out ways to heal, to grow, to evolve beyond this pattern.
Because that is really all it is– just a dysfunctional pattern of negative thoughts and feelings that have their roots deep in our unconscious mind– so much so that this PROGRAM runs on AUTOPILOT beneath your awareness.
Here’s where I REALLY want you to pay attention…
Even though it FEELS like the eating disorder is who you are….
It is NOT you.
The eating disorder causes you to take certain actions and use certain behaviors with the food and your body.
YOU are NOT your actions.
YOU are NOT your body.
The eating disorder brings up many of our emotional wounds and baggage and leaves us feeling anxiety, fear, depression, sadness, anger, hurt, ashamed, guilty and frustrated.
You HAVE emotions.
Emotions flow and move through us (if we allow them to), but they do not define us or say anything about who we are fundamentally as a person. Experiencing emotions is a part of the human experience!
YOU are NOT defined by how you feel.
YOU are NOT your emotions.
The eating disorder will also have some deeply ingrained thought patterns and limiting beliefs– some that have been with you your whole life.
A belief is simply just a thought we’ve thought over and over again until it becomes true and ingrained in our unconscious mind. Beliefs CAN be changed, released and new ones installed in our consciousness. Therefore…
YOU are NOT your thoughts.
YOU are NOT your beliefs.
SO then WHO ARE YOU???
You are the soul, the spirit, the consciousness that inhabits the body as a vessel, that experiences those emotions, that controls the thinker that has those thoughts.
You were put on this planet to grow and evolve and learn how to transcend these old patterns so that you can fulfill your purpose, your passion, your mission here on earth.
You have a HUGE task ahead of you!!
In order for you to truly live out your life’s calling, you MUST grasp this knowledge and know that the eating disorder is simply a distraction to your life’s work AND it is also your GREATEST GIFT.
I know you probably want to punch me for saying that– OMG LAUREN, how could you say that this eating disorder is a blessing, a gift, something to be grateful for?!?!?
You might not see it now, but once you are on the other side you will understand.
For if you never had the eating disorder, you would have never had to learn how to love yourself.
You would have never had to learn how to have a healthy and loving relationship with food and your body.
You would have never had to learn how to feel your feelings, how to allow your deepest fears and wounds to come up, to process through them and RELEASE them.
You would have never had to learn how to identify your limiting beliefs and transform your deepest held beliefs about yourself and the world to ones that support you, uplift you and help you to go after what you really want, what you are truly meant to do in this life.
You would have never had to learn how to set boundaries, how to be assertive and how to show up AUTHENTICALLY with yourself and with others.
You would have never had to learn how to BELIEVE in yourself, how to TRUST yourself and how to have FAITH in the Universe, in God, or whatever you believe in that is GREATER than you, has your best interest at heart, and wants the ultimate HIGHEST GOOD for you and your life.
You would have never had to learn how to tap into your Intuition and learn how to be guided from within, learning how to navigate your own personal internal guidance system.
THIS IS WHO YOU ARE without the eating disorder.
THIS IS WHAT YOU DO without the eating disorder.
THIS IS an entirely new OPERATING SYSTEM for yourself, your brain, your LIFE.
What are you really afraid of?
The only thing that is holding you back now is YOU.
There is NOTHING to be afraid of.
Yes the path may be long, and arduous, and difficult at times.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
It made me who I am today.
It has given me the strength to face any challenge or limitation that comes my way.
It has given me the ability to fall madly in love with myself and be my own best friend.
It has given me the ability to create a deep unshakeable bond with my Higher Self, Angels, and God.
It has given me self-confidence, self-esteem and has allowed me to step into the light of who I really am BOLDLY and COURAGEOUSLY.
It has given the ability to have RADICAL trust. RADICAL faith in myself, in the Universe and in God. It has given me the ability to overcome debilitating anxiety, depression, mental illness + physical conditions beyond all odds.
Because we are NOT the eating disorder.
The eating disorder is only the outer shell that we must crack open to get to the GOOD STUFF on the inside.
We peel back the layers of the onion one by one to get to the heart of your true authentic self.
As one of my favorite poets and author Khalil Gibran so eloquently stated, “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”
You may not really understand what needs to happen and why.
You don’t even have to know HOW.
But now you know that it MUST happen.
If you are reading this, I know that this fact resonates so deeply within your heart, mind, body and soul.
With every cell of your body, I want you to embrace and truly OWN the fact that YOU WERE MEANT TO OVERCOME.
YOU ARE MEANT TO GROW BEYOND THIS.
And you will.
And you are.
Just by reading this today, by showing up and doing the work on yourself, that is what brings you one step closer to freedom.
By doing the way day in and day out, that is what brings you closer to being in alignment with your true authentic self and further and further away from that small, dysfunctional eating disorder self.
Today, take some time to appreciate where you’re at, how far you’ve come and where you’re going.
Look at all these amazing gifts that the eating disorder is giving you.
The greatest of which is the ability to DISCOVER WHO YOU AUTHENTICALLY ARE deep within the recesses of your being.
You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
Who you are shines so brightly that there is no possible way for you to *not* like her.
Who you are is so special and unique, that once you discover her you will want to shout from the rooftops for how PROUD of yourself you are that YOU DID IT!!!!
You are on the right path.
Keep taking baby steps forward.
THIS is the way towards FREEDOM.
In light + love,