I used to be better at listening. I would listen to my body, the intuitive eating signals God had made my body with, eat till I was not hungry and stop. I didn’t think about food after that, and then there came ED. And I became a TERRIBLE listener.
I thought I could share what ‘intuitive eating’ has taught me about learning to listen again, not just to my body, but to other people around me. And trust me, it has not been an easy journey. It’s been rough for someone who likes to talk, but it’s been worth it. Many of my blogger friends who link up with the WIAW with Laura, Arman, and Jenn have taught me LOADS about intuitive eating. (Big virtual hug to all of them!)
Today, I was listening (that’s the word for the day) to a sermon on Luke. He referenced Isaiah 61:1-3, ‘
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn,
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”’
He described sin as BRUISING us. I learned that in the throes of struggling with an ED. Sin is not nice. Sin bruised me. ED, my idol, bruised me, and I embraced this sin that was breaking me. I was so blind. Yet, the amazing thing is that EVERY part of it has turned out for good, including the lesson of listening. God is so merciful. He does heal the bruises, and one of the ways He healed the bruises was teaching me how to listen again.
One of the lessons learned in recovery was the lesson of learning to listen to my body and most of all to God’s Word and to the people around me.
Recovery taught me two things about listening:
1) Listening is hard. Listening to my body was EXTREMELY hard, when I really felt like I wanted to control what I was eating and I was struggling with trusting God fully with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
2) Recovery taught me that I was SO self-centered. I didn’t want to hear about other people’s struggles; I was so focused on my own. It taught me that I needed to stop and listen, to care about others and their struggles.
When the fog around me cleared and I looked out at the people around me, I realized that everybody is broken and bruised by sin, and they need compassion and love and truth.
I learned that I needed to listen.
No, I didn’t need to fix their problems, because I don’t fix problems. God does. But I needed to listen and to care.
Where does listening start?
1) For me it started with really listening to and soaking in the truths of God’s Word. What did God say about me? What did He say about what I really needed to hear even though it was painful and hard? For a long time I had heard the Word, but I can’t say that I had really wanted to EMBRACE the truth and cling to it.
‘ But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22)
‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children: “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”’ (Hebrews 12:5-6)
I needed to be chastened lovingly so I could learn to love others more and myself less. I needed to have my eyes opened to all the hurt around me so I could share the love of Jesus that had been given to me, though I didn’t deserve it!
2) Realizing this made me want to listen to my family more and stop dumping all of my problems on them… It’s not that we don’t share our struggles, but I realized that life wasn’t about me.
‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;’ (James 1:19)
I realized the value of listening. I could learn so much about people that I hadn’t known before; I could hear their fears, passions, dreams, doubts, and longings.
3) When I learned more about people, I learned how I could actually encourage them instead of just trying to encourage them without knowing anything about their situation, their life, their history, and them as a SOUL, a precious human being made in God’s image, desperately in need of God’s mercy.
Intuitive eating can teach you a lot. It can teach you so much about listening, not just to your own body, but to others.
I have met so many girls who have used their struggles with an ED to listen to others, to invest in others, and to show them love, and I hope and pray that this blog is a blog where I do more listening and listen not just with my ears, but with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
…. With that, at this stage in recovery, I would say that I’m kind of a ’50/50 intuitive eater.’
How have I grown?
I used to not eat over my ‘calorie count’ even if I was still ‘hungry,’ but now I eat till I honestly am not hungry anymore. (Do I still sub consciously calorie count? Yes, I do, but I’m not hungry anymore when I go to bed, and I’m not as obsessed by food!)
Thanking the Lord for EVERY victory!
So, in light of all that … what did I eat yesterday for a day of ‘intuitivish’ eating?
It started with:
Breakfast: Peach Pie Smoothie out of the last of my Naturally Nutty Cinnamon Vanilla Sun Butter….
“For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”
This verse has been with me since Sunday and really thinking about what real worship looks like… It’s not robotic. It’s a hearts seeking, a longing, a depth of feeling that really can’t be expressed at a human level.
Well the day was a really good day, full of lots of work that left me hungry for lunch around 12:30 PM (even though I had had breakfast about 2 hours before. . .)
Even though I felt like, ‘I shouldn’t eat because it’s too early, but I was hungry, so I ate…’ That is one of the most freeing feelings in the world when it comes to recovery.
Lunch: Leftover gluten free pizza. I’m not gluten free, but I do like eating leftovers. 🙂 And that corn? It was the sweetest corn I’d ever eaten. I’m so grateful for the way the Lord gave us neighbors that share their garden produce.
Pre-Run Snack: Runs are one of my favorite ways to just get out and BE still. I know I’m moving, but it’s a way for my brain to slow down, to just think, pray, sing (in my mind cause I’m usually breathing too hard to do it out loud), and wonder at the creation around me.
This was my first time trying Reginald’s Homemade on this corn cake from my blogger gal Kristy. It was GOOD! I can’t wait to try the other flavors.
That’s kind of why I wrote this post yesterday, because this girl has a HARD time being still, but I’m learning that sometimes, you have to be still and just remember that you aren’t the captain of the boat.
Dinner: Curry is not the prettiest dish, is it? But it was delicious, and it really makes me savor all the delights of having a quarter of Japanese blood in me! <3 I’m so thankful for all the different foods my parents raised us with, including delicious Oriental food.
And DESSERT was a slice of Ashley’s AMAZING Chocolate Bundt Cake with icecream!
I’m going to be thinking and praying more about listening this week, and I wanted to share some verses that would provide some food for thought, encouragement, and precious truth about listening.
‘In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.’ (Psalm 18:6)
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)
‘“If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.” (Malachi 2:2)
Would you pray that I would listen more, act on the Word of God, listen to others and be slow to speak? There were times in my life when I was stubborn and I did not listen, and I am so thankful that the Lord humbled me and brought me back to the narrow way, but not listening to the Lord’s leading and His gentle guiding hand has ALWAYS hurt me.
Listening to the Lord’s leading and obeying His Words is life, but I’m not perfect at it. Would you keep me accountable to listening?
Ok, I want to listen to you now:
1) Do you like listening? What would you want people to know about you if they stopped to listen to you?
2) Do you think we take enough time to listen to others?
3) What’s the balance of listening and speaking encouragement into other’s lives?
4) What kinds of situations do you think are the situations in which you should just listen instead of speaking?
5) Are you good at intuitive eating or listening to your body? Any recommendations for someone who wants to become an 100% intuitive eater again?
6) What is something CRAZY about you that nobody knows and you want us to know?
7) What is your ethnic heritage? Do you have any favorite ethnic foods?
8) What are the best kinds of questions you can ask to learn about others?