Monday, September 14, 2009

Foolish Mind

I am a person of extremes. Sometimes it's "all or nothing" and "black and white." The line of middle ground is often hard to walk.

If it's not right, it's wrong.
If they're not nice, they're mean.
If the glass is not full, it's half-empty.
You get the idea.

My senior year of high school, I decided I needed to drink more water. Water is good for you. The more the better. During a basketball game against or rival team, I nearly collapsed and was left confused as to where all my energy went. I was drowning my body in so much water I became anemic. Blood results proved an iron deficiency.

Fat is bad. Skinny is good. Eating healthy can't be a sin. "I'm just taking care of my health," I said. They're just jealous. I don't want to be obese, so therefore, I will just eat less and exercise more. All the diet experts say, "Eat less, move more," so I did. We know where that landed me, anorexia, bulimia, counseling, and so on and so forth.

Finding center is rough.

A friend tells me she can't do moderation, she just has to cut out whatever food group she deems "bad." Hearing her makes me cringe. I can't imagine living that way, but I will admit, seeking balance isn't necessarily a walk in the park.

I stepped on the scale last week. I thought, "Uh oh, I do not want to do this. I blogged about it. I'm just going to have to admit that I got on if I do this. But...I'm curious. I mean, just once...couldn't hurt. Normal people can get on a scale, why can't I? The number isn't important to me, so I'll just..." Dangit. I didn't beat myself up too badly, maybe that was just because I had lost weight, I'm not sure. Either way, I knew I didn't want to be ruled by a number, but I did it anyway. To prove to myself that the number didn't matter, I binged, wanted to purge, and was basically set-off by the simple act of stepping on the scale.

"Normal people do step on the scale," my dietician told me later. "But you my dear are not normal. A check in every 6 months or so is fine, but every day is completely unneccessary. You are not a number."

I knew that. I needed to hear it though.

If a person says something even mildly rude to me, I deserved it.
If I get a 76% on my Anatomy and Physiology test, I am stupid.
If I cannot possibly keep up with the demands of work, school, and friendships, I am a failure.

This voice, this "reality," where is it coming from?

Back to square one. My dietician talks about my "wise mind" the part of me that knows my heart and soul and seeks to nourish and heal. She's never given a name to its opposite though. If the good is the "wise mind" the opposite must be my "foolish mind" I suppose.

My foolish mind says I am unable to find center. I don't work hard enough. Balance is not for me. There is comfort in black and white, strict standards, I know exactly what to do and what not to do. It's safe there. My foolish mind tears apart, accuses, blames, and guilts. My foolish mind makes me into a hopeless attempt at a human being, something I thought was enough.

Exactly, the wise mind kicks in. Humanity is enough.

The wise mind is stronger on some days more than others. Sometimes I sense the ridiculousness, the cruelty, and the lies of my foolish mind. It hasn't been a new revelation, like, "Ah ha! Now I get it," but more of a journey, along the way of lessons learned through time.


The same truths keep coming up.

Maybe, with time, I'll learn them.


Michael said...

So much I want to say but can't even think where to begin. I want balance so bad that I spend large amounts of time trying to organize the lists in my planner that I'm exhausted when I'm finished. Most of it carries over to the next week. I wish I were black and white. Maybe I'd be able to realize that "white" is where I want to be and leave the "black" behind. I guess there's problems with both.

*sigh* In time, like you, perhaps I'll find that center and learn to let some things go.