Reflections on the Journey


Dear Loop Friends,

My name is Leeanne, I live in Israel, and I am a grateful compulsive overeater in recovery. As someone seeking and finding recovery, I find my perspectives changing. Often in the past, I have had a distorted view of things ... including of myself. The point, I am learning, is to try to balance those views, and remember my real self.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And being for my own self only, what am I?
And if not now, when?"
Rabbi Hillel
The Ethics of the Fathers

Sometimes, I belittle my significance to others, forgetting what I mean to them: My children respect me and love me, they look to me; my friends know they can rely on me, confide in me; my employers have always known I am diligent, trustworthy; my husband values my opinions, my humor, my warmth, my creativity.

Sometimes, I overestimate my importance: I hesitate to do the things I really want to do, afraid the whole world would watch me, look at me, talk about me, scorn me. If I sat in the front rows at a movie, would people jeer at me, instead of watching the movie? If I went outside to my yard to sculpt, will people stop to stare at me hammering away at a stone?

If I go to the beach, will all eyes be turned to me, measuring me, looking at my perhaps unfashionable size. Do they say: "How did she get to be this way?" "Why doesn’t she do something about it?" "How can she stand herself?"

And then I had a chance to fly. The journey was short - just a flight up the Mediterranean shore; the destination, undefined, just a flight for fun. But 500 feet in the air, it suddenly came to me as I looked at the beach below, the objects and the life below: There are things I give up because of my fears, though I say I will do them tomorrow, or maybe some OTHER tomorrow...

500 feet in the air, I realized (yet again): So what, if out of 6 billion people on the planet, 2 or 13 or 50 are looking at me? They will forget me five minutes later, just as I will forget them... That is, if they ever even noticed me in the first place.

But I, for having confronted their stares... for having confronted the FEAR of their thoughts, will have felt the breezes of the shore, will have touched the rocks I love. I will have walked with my children in places that will be imprinted in their minds far longer than I will be imprinted in the minds of those I fear so unjustifiably, so unrealistically.

My reflection on this part of my journey is to remember that it is not my concern what others think of me. I have been and will be fat ... thin ... and in-between. So will others. What is important now ... and what will always be important ... is that I am myself. Others must take me as I am. And I must take them as they are.

Reflecting ... Learning ... Living

Love in recovery,

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