Yoga Sutra 2.40
|“You can either hold yourself up to the unrealistic standards of others, or ignore them and concentrate on being happy with yourself as you are."|
I'm reading Awakening from the Dream by Anusara instructor, Christina Sells. She talks of her battle with bulimia and how she's struggled with body image throughout her life. I imagine if you asked any American woman, no matter her age, would tell you she has also had an on-going internal conflict with how she views herself and her body. One study shows that 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day.
In her book, she examines a "radical reliance on the Divine through deep acceptance of the way things are" by developing a natural relationship to food and her body. She said to end the war within her, she had to expose the ways she didn't have it all worked out and risk appearing less than perfect and allowing herself to be of service and compassion for others.
This past summer, I finally came to terms with my own eating disorder. I hate to call it a disorder- but if I am truthful, that's what it is. An unhealthy way of living. A struggle I have felt almost like a cloud over me. I realized that I eat to avoid... others, my own circumstances, to feel better (and then of course, I felt worse). In my high school, I had the other extreme, I would starve myself in hopes to make myself appear to have it all together or make myself more attractive to my peers. Even to my father, who has commented on weight (mine and everyone else) all of my life said this week that I was "very attractive and that I keep getting better with age", then he added "that's as good as it's going to get. I'm the best that I'll ever look." I know his words ring true to him but to hear them aloud was another thing. Can't we all relate to how we respond to the comments of others- no matter how subtle?
Saucat Svanga Jugupsa Parair Asamsargah.
Yoga Sutra 2.40
Saucha means purity. Having an awareness of what we put in our bodies, staying physical and keeping our body clean (inside and out) with the motive of honoring ourselves not to please others. "With purification there is detachment. Not allowing foreign substances (any addictions) in your body. Cultivating an awareness of the company we keep, a respect for our bodies and to not allow these things to be an escape from our life in the world." (Anand)
Just becoming aware that my trigger to overeat is avoidance (a form of escape) has helped me to move a little more forward toward healing. I'm grateful to Christina for her bravery to expose herself in a way most of us hide.