Lately I have been really looking deeper into how my eating habits effect who I am, how "who I am" effects my eating habits, and how my relationship with the Lord fits in with it all.
I had a really insightful quiettime this morning and was convicted by something about myself that I hadn't realized.
I know that this is the internet, and a public place, but I feel it's important for me to share what I've learned in order to help others who may be struggling with the same thing. These are some very intimate and personal revelations about myself... someone who I am really just getting to know.
For as long as I can remember I have always had a low self-esteem. I have always been critical of everything about myself and could never believe that anyone would really like me if they really knew me. Just as people would start to get close to me, I would start making ugly comments to myself, preparing myself for when they would see me for who I really was and leave me stranded. Somewhere along the way, I started to find a little bit of "comfort" in hating myself.
Hating myself and punishing myself (through food deprivation or throwing up or binging) was something I felt I deserved. It helped keep me locked inside, it provided a reason to hide, and it gave me an easy out to cry about when I would fail at my attempts. (i.e. messing up on my "diet" and eating junk).
My whole life has been spent in this cycle, and the actual reason and purpose for it wasn't because of my self esteem issues.... the Lord showed me this morning, it was actually because I took comfort in the feelings that self pity gave me. Self pity is nice... self pity protects me from getting hurt. (If I say it about myself, it doesn't hurt so much to hear someone else say it.)
Self pity was my way of thinking that I could punish myself... and my refusal to truly believe that someone (Jesus) had already taken that punishment upon himself.
All of this (behavior and beliefs) pushed me into a cave of lonliness that I would claim to be a miserable place.. but in all honesty... it was a place I took great care to build.
My lonliness was a comfortable, familiar place where I could crawl up and soak in the comfort of being alone. And pride lived there with me. I took pride in being alone. This lonley, prideful place was a place where I could control how much pain I felt.
But today... my heart has been opened... the Lord revealed to me that this place I've called home for so long is a filthy prison. I am sorry for believing that I could control who gets to love me. I am sorry for using self pity and self hatred as a tool to nurse my wounds when I should have been simply looking to the cross. I am sorry for taking pride in my lonliness and encouraging the cycle of sin that raged beneath the surface of my body. And with all this repentance... I feel a freedom and a "fresh air" in my soul that I am almost scared of. But it's a good fear... it's the fear one has as they embark on a journey into new territory... territory they only dared to dream about in the past.