Overcoming ED Fear and Returning to Innocence (Fitra)

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You’ve chosen recovery or maybe you are considering going for recovery.  All of a sudden your hit by fearful thoughts, body image issues, and your mind is all over the place. We don’t realize but we are dependent on something outside of us to make us feel fulfilled and happy especially the number on the scale.

Dear Readers,

Please find below a wonderful video by Ihsan Alexander. With Eating Disorders we develop many fears, one of the key fears is weight gain. When we chose recovery and go through re-feeding we have to battle many emotions and many fears. We are stuck in uncertainty. We really lose faith when we see the number on scale rising.

This fear can paralyze you, keep you locked in the cycle of ED, and stop you from going for recovery. Strip away the ego and let go off the fear.

 Often patients recovering from an eating disorder predict they will become obese over the next decade (“I’m scared I’ll get fat”). Results of a recent follow-up study led by Helen B. Murray and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and Northeastern University, Boston, showed that after 22 years, most former patients had body mass indexes (BMI, kg/m2) in the normal range. The results were reported at the 2015 International Conference on Eating Disorders in Boston, MA. Two cohorts were analyzed: Wave 1, from 1987 to 1991 involved 225 patients followed for 10 years, who had DSM-IV diagnoses of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Wave 2 involved 175 of the patients followed from 2011 to 2013. The authors also reported that the rates of change in BMI are faster in the earlier years after recovery, and that short-term changes predict long-term return to normal BMIs. To calm a patient’s fear of excess weight gain after recovery, the authors suggest helping patients focus on long-term results. Learning about normal long- and short-term weight changes will help them have reasonable expectations about their weight.

 Eating Disorders Review
January/February Volume 27, Number 1
©2016 IAEDP

According to Ihsan Alexander, fear is a result of separation from the Divine Presence, from one’s own soul, and is a consequence of a loss of innocence, known as fitra in Islam.

In this video  from the Islamic Meditation Program, Ihsan discusses that the key to overcome fear is to return to fitra, to a state of primordial innocence, to transcend the self, the ego.

The spiritual path of Islam, also known as Sufism, is meant to heal the separation and again make the human being whole, complete and one.

I became aware that I’d given my worth to other people. I’d become reliant on external feedback because I did not value what I was worth.

We become so blinded by the praise of the external that we forget to see the unexamined interior—the attention-deprived inner world.

According to Ihsan Alexander, What happens unfortunately from the beginning of childhood is the fear the distance traveling from the state of oneness, the state of perfection and purity to a state and a belief system and a personality that starts to perceive things as separate from one another and at the same time, we begin to develop all kinds of problems and beliefs that originates from the original separation.

The biggest we develop is fear because when a human being perceives himself as separate from everything else, separate from the universe, we are naturally going to be overtaken naturally by a state of fear, we begin to feel that our survival depends on the struggle against hostile forces that continue coming at us. This happens in a situation where we destabilize ourselves and in turn think of finding solutions and relying on prescriptions that aren’t really solutions but merely and partially solve them only to come up with side effects that gives strengths to fear in the long run –that time there is nothing left other than fear. One that will emanate from the original strength of not seeing one’s self as a creation of Allah and follow the dictates and instructions of the Prophet. We tend to find the solutions on all of these situations. This develops a very problematic paradigm in which we are experiencing life in a hostile universe, even though it’s not the truth, even though it’s not a reality this is the way the average person perceives life in reality and they act accordingly, hence, the need for trauma, conflict, fighting, enemies, problems… It all originates from this fundamental paradigm problem and by consciously affirming truth to Islamic spiritual practice, we begin to negate and cleanse and purify ourselves from these false beliefs and thoughts that originates from this original state of separation, the state of separation, this believing separation that separates us from everything else that we are this particular personality. This body form, this mind-body that exists within time between the time we were born in the time that we will pass away; 60- 70 years. This is also why death is so feared, especially in the modern culture because our entire identities wrap up stemped form.

 

If people actually identified with their souls as we begin to do that through Islamic spiritual practice into a meditating spiritual practice.

 

To learn how to again identify with and be our very souls rather than the body form, the fear of that ultimately disappears, because we realize that what is truly eternal can never die and the soul was real. the body was created. it is going to come into existence at its own point, and it’s going to leave at its own certain point, but the reality of who you are can never die, can never be destroyed. your soul is divine and eternal and as we learn to identify with the soul again and let go identification with the body form increasing amount of joy, happiness prosperity and peace begin to fill our lives.

 

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About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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