We are not eating for flavor, they’re eating for familiarity.
For some comfort that could never come from food.
When I think back to the last few times I’ve inhaled an entire large pizza in one sitting, it makes perfect sense. It’s just so goddamn tempting to use addiction as a way to handle existential crises.
But in the end, we all know that it’s another dark and lonely repetitive cycle of searching for happiness in impermanent things.
Levine’s definition of addiction is the best I’ve ever heard. His book of meditations about the zen of recovery called addiction the repetitive process of habitually satisfying cravings to avoid, change or control the seemingly unbearable conditions of the present moment.
And so, the way out of this infinite regression is for us to find internal sources of happiness that aren’t dependent on or addicted to circumstances. Wellsprings of joy and hope and peace that are rooted in the love that can never leave us.
That way, should we suspect the growing presence of a massive black hole of joylessness and despair, we can take pause. And instead of mindlessly reaching for a momentary distraction from that suffocating reality, we can reach within.
I once followed a fascinating food therapy program in which you ask a series of four simple questions to distract yourself from unhealthy cravings.
Am I really hungry?
Is this what I feel like eating?
Is this what I feel like eating now?
Is there something else I could do instead?
It was tricky as hell. Because my eating habits tend to be quite mindless. But after a few weeks, I found the four questions to be a brilliant practice for changing unhelpful thinking and behavior.
Instead of getting caught up in the dance of dysfunction, I could simply pause and empower myself to find out what these feelings wanted from me.
The practice didn’t work every time I got the craving to eat my body weight in chicken wings, but it did build a solid baseline of awareness that contributed to an overall increase in my emotional, mental and physical health.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What behavior are we continuing to do despite the fact that there are negative consequences in our lives?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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