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Eating Quiz: Do you need more structure or soul? (Part Two)

Today, in Part Two, we are focusing on the signs and symptoms of inadequate soul demonstrated in eating. (You find Part One on Structure here)

When we say something like “she’s got soul,” we know what we mean. In some ways we’re saying, although indirectly, she’s got substance, there’s depth there, there’s feeling there, this is a flesh and blood woman right here in front of me.

Soul has much to do with your time here on earth. It includes your biography, your wounds, your heart’s longing, your physicality, your sexuality, what you like and dislike, vocation, and anything else that influences your time here in this lifetime.

As I’ve learned it through the likes of C. G. Jung, Rita Navarette, C. Michael Smith, Thomas Moore, Marc David, Marion Woodman and others, when we don’t acknowledge and tend to our soul life, soul will find its’ way to us.

Say a couple times a week you go on a sugar bender or drink too much wine and feel terrible the next day. Instead of being too quick to sort this out as bad behavior that needs correcting, it’s still useful to see “soul presenting” here.

Something is percolating under the surface.

Soul seems to present itself more in our problems, inner conflicts, losses, depressions, fantasies, and emotions, than our greatest accomplishments or highest ideals.

Consider, when you act out a familiar pattern, when you self abandon, when you feel obsessed over a person or physical possession you want to acquire, when you restrict food or over-indulge….

…what might the soul expressing here?

Since I’ve worked with many people around their eating, I’ll give you an example from a handful of years ago:

One client, who I’ll call Nancy, was either counting calories or watching carbs or both, meticulously. When she found herself still hungry after her allocated meal portions during the week, she felt anxious. Any time a social engagement with food came up on the weekend, more anxiety. In both cases, she buckled and gave in to many of the foods, drinks, and portion sizes she was trying to avoid. She absolutely HATED that this kept happening. To Nancy, overeating carbs and drinking was the problem. Cutting them out again was the solution.

Taking a larger perspective it seemed like Nancy wanted a way of eating that was absolutely devoid of soulfulness. No nuances, no fluctuations, no emotions or feelings, no appetites, and no nutrient-deficient substances allowed. Only predictable, pre-measured ways of eating were welcome.

For health-conscious, diet-conscious people who feel attached to nutritional ideals, some version of this story might feel familiar, yet may present differently.

Here are other signs that eating may be a bit soul-deficient.