This morning when I was editing a chapter in my new book, I read over something I wrote:
Learn to see that our food struggle is more than just an annoying aspect of our life. There is a message in it why we, of all people, get to struggle with it. How can we create that experience and build it into something more than just a struggle? What is its reason for taking up so much energy in our life? What is its ultimate goal? What have we come here to enjoy?
Back when I wrote these questions, they did not stir anything, but they did now. I read those questions, and I wanted answers or at least some inspiration. So I decided to do a tarot reading on them to help us.
Why do I, of all people, struggle with food? – The Moon (18)
The Moon is a card of illusions. We think that we are the only ones who struggle with food but that it is an illusion. When we tell ourselves why it is okay to keep on binge eating, it is also an illusion.
Although a full moon can shed quite some light upon us, it is still almost nothing compared to full sunlight. It is easy to come to faulty conclusions. As a result, we feel worthless and feel alone. Our solution is to step into the light, become super honest, and look for people who will not cry with us at the moon. We want people who honestly tell us what they feel when they see us abusing food. But for some reason eating behavior is an area that we do not talk about.
It is too dark to see things clearly and honestly reflect on our truths and needs. It is why our worries are worse at night compared to the daytime. It is the same with our eating habits. They keep us in the dark. We cannot but repeat them over and over, making them more automatic as time goes by if we keep ourselves in the dark.
When you detox from addictive foods, the light turns on again. Illusions melt away and you can make soul-based decisions. So, as long as we stay in the food, we keep ourselves in an illusional setting. It is nobody’s job but ours to change that.
How can I build this journey in more than just a struggle? – 4 of Wands
When you look at this card, it is almost the opposite energy of that Moon-card. The 4 of Wands is a joyful almost festive card, where two people enjoy each other’s company. I know that with the social distancing recommendation, that is not entirely possible these days. But to connect, you do not have to be in each other’s company. Since COVID-19, more people have discovered how video-connection almost feels the same. It is better than being alone, with a massive bag of crisps, on the couch with the curtains closed. The card shows us that it is about how you approach your life: are you going to howl at the moon and stay illusional, or are you going to make it a joyful experience? Everything is a choice!
Personally, I choose to make it a joyful experience, even when I have difficult days or even weeks. I have taught myself to look for the good things because that is the quickest way out. Joy is the foundation on which I live my life, joy is also the foundation on which the two people dance. Life is more than overeating, binge eating, or food addiction. But it can take up too much of the mental energy that we start to doubt everything.
We have a saying here in the Netherlands: Life is a party, but you have to hang up the streamers yourself! This means that even when you feel alone and unable to change your eating habits, you can still choose to feel good. Maybe you do not feel good about your eating habits, but that does not mean that you cannot feel good about the rest of you or your life?
What is its reason for taking up so much energy? – 2 of Pentacles
Energy comes and goes. Some days your energy levels are high, and sometimes they can be ridiculously low. It all depends on what we put in our bodies during a binge and how we feel we are in control of our habits. The thing is that when we start to practice balance on more than one level (the mental level, the emotional level, the physical level, and the spiritual level), we will notice that our mind, our emotions, our body and our connection with Source heal pretty quickly. Our body and soul are so forgiving!
But when we are in the food, we spend too much time on things that suck our energy. We think we cannot control it, but we can. Balance takes time, but when you learn how to control your energy, you will notice that you will need less to keep it. It is our practice of balance that we need to focus on and find out what brings us joy.
What is its ultimate goal? – 5 of Wands
When you look at this card, you can see the struggle that food brings in our life. Challenges seem to be all around us. When you look at the cards better, you see that all figures are trying to avoid getting hit by one of the wands. It almost seems as if the men are doing Wushu (a form of Kungfu) exercises. Martial arts is not something you learn in a week. It asks tremendous patience to learn the skills to perfection. They teach you not to give up but to keep on going, even if you’re tired, your body hurts, or think you will never “get it.”
It is the same thing with recovery. You can never give up on yourself, even if you are tired of yourself of making yet another mistake if your body hurts from overeating or think you will never “get it.”
What have I come here to enjoy instead of it? Judgement (20)
I love it when a card comes up in a reading that is such clear guidance for us. The Judgement card happens to be my favorite card, and for me, it means that we rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Remember the Harry Potter stories and the role the phoenix played? It is so interesting to read more about the symbolism of the phoenix in those books:
- It can regenerate itself, so it can start over, time after time (rise from the ashes)
- Extreme loyal creatures
- Their tears have healing properties
- Its song provides support and comfort
Although Harry Potter can’t help us here, we can take away a lot from being a phoenix in our own life. A phoenix does not give up. It sings its song, regenerates itself and then rise from the ashes. The song of the phoenix is a beautiful analogy. Singing your song is the same as being in recovery, doing the best you can, and if you stumble you “just” regenerate – you resume the journey and rise from the ashes. The Phoenix can’t do anything else but that. We can learn from that by not giving up.
At the same time, we need to be fiercely loyal to ourselves in the process. We have given up too many times and may have fallen off the wagon for a long time. I’ve been there myself too often. The Ditch is no fun place to be. Falling off the wagon hurts. The tears we shed because of that heal us. If we just keep going as if we don’t know any better than that, we sing the song of support and comfort for ourselves.
Binge eating or food addiction is a habit that keeps us in the dark. We know our lives could be much better if we would focus on improving our habits instead of focusing on the bad stuff all the time. For this, we need to focus on the things that bring balance and practice it hard and long, even when we get tired of ourselves and think we will never “get it.” We can’t just give up on ourselves. We need to practice the habits of the Phoenix to rise from the ashes again – brand new!