Having had a spiritual awakening in this program, I now view myself as a unique and precious child of God. It has transformed my approach to myself.
But when I compare myself to others, I feel “less than.” Since I am unable to eat the foods they eat and perform the simple behaviors they do, I conclude there’s something wrong with me that needs to be brought to submission and controlled.
If I instead think of myself as one of God’s creations, I see myself as valuable and worthwhile. I know I don’t deserve to be hurt by a disease or by thoughtless, clueless people. I see myself as someone who needs help and protection.
I’m more inclined to feel compassion for a human who needs protection than for a defective person who needs to be controlled. It’s much easier to come to my own aid when I perceive myself as needing help rather than punishment or restraints. So these days I focus on protecting, not controlling, myself.
Preparing abstinent meals protects me from the hunger that makes me seek snacks. Making a shopping list beforeI enter the store protects me from the siren’s song of items that would do me in. Looking at restaurant menus on-line before eating out protects me from tempting meals that would break my abstinence. Deciding on substitutions in advance protects me from the notions that I shouldn’t make a disturbance at a restaurant and that I should just take what I am given.
When I plan three meals in advance, I gain protection from foods in my fridge that are okay for my spouse to eat but not for me. Spacing my meals protects me from voices that call for me to use food for comfort. My plan of eating and action plan protect me from “surprise” foods such as grocery store samples, workplace treats, and holiday food gifts.
Removing trigger foods from my realm of choices protects me from the craziness that always ensues after eating even one bite. Connecting to God in prayer before meals protects me from the self-pitying thoughts of the disease, and allows me to eat slowly, mindfully, and with gratitude, regardless of what my companions are eating.
I am much better at protecting myself than I ever was at controlling myself. But I can’t do it alone. My participation in OA protects me from my own thoughts, and when I nd myself really slipping, I step away and pray. My prayers protect me from myself and invite God to guide my actions.
Having had this spiritual awakening as a result of working the Steps, I try to practice this approach in all my a airs and to carry this message to those who su er from a lack of connection to their Higher Power.
~ Mard, Arizona USA