On Healing the Split

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

The eating psychology context is this:

There you are eating “clean” by day, and stuffing the body with food by night. Or perhaps you live out the “clean” side for weeks or months, then you flip to the other side for a while. Or you’ve got it together most of the day, then at 4pm you’re a different person. You’re off the plan. The assumption is that severing off the bad habits via a new diet, a new gym, a new resolution, etc will finally rid you of your troubles. The problem is, in many cases, it doesn’t work.

The “fix it,” clean-it-up, look good, be your “best self” attitude, from a polytheistic perspective, pays homage to only one god. Like any one-sided position, what’s often left in exile doesn’t simply go away, but gains energy and finds it’s way to us sideways or from the bottom up.

Embodying health in a holistic way calls us to bring our awareness to the periphery, the sidelines, the underrepresented.

Marion Woodman had written that the issues we’re facing today with eating and the body (and the Earth for that matter) are the spiritual feminine, Sofia, making Herself known….in painful ways, but ways that get our attention nonetheless. And Jung and Hillman have said, the gods now come to us in the form of disease.

Here we’ve got some very wise people drawing attention beyond the surface of things, to our multiple nature and the consequences of ignoring them. They’re not racing on buckled knees to get it fixed or cured, but offering a type of attentiveness to the other side(s) as we once did long ago. The point is many worthwhile invitations come to us through our strange eating habits if we are willing to wake up a bit around it. Are we even listening?

Many women have so deeply internalized an inner patriarch that has contributed to an ongoing and unexamined split between the mind and the body. We say: “I’ll control this body.” And then something in the body says “I don’t WANT to be controlled.” You know what I’m talking about. (Obviously this does not just affect women). Have we ever bothered to ask who it is in us that wants to control and who in us don’t want to be controlled and what they actually want. This may initially invite us into questions about our actual enjoyment or fear of food and whether we even live in the body enough to feel our food at all in the first place. As time goes on, we may find ourselves facing our inner conflicts, inner judgments, and confronting inner truths. Now what do we do?

You might consider that the future of eating does not lie in excessive control, but relationship. I know I risk a few eyes rolls on that one, but it’s true. This is what most women want anyways; To have a better RELATIONSHIP with food, with their body, with themselves.

The irony is the more a woman can drop below her neck, the place she’s rather not go, and learn that it is safe and fruitful to do so and learn that (unlike what so much conventional thinking led her to believe), her body will not betray her, she is actually well on her way to the type of eating that she was striving for for so long. I know. I’ve seen it happen. The worst fears do not come true. I’m not saying you won’t ever get sick or run into a strange eating habit. I’m saying in a simple way, that the inner work you do around this could bring you to a moment where all the interesting food is around and you find you could take it or leave it. Or you’re in some other similar situation. But the energy has dissipated. You have more of a choice in the matter. You now are consulting your body, your gut, your heart. You’ve got discernment. Flesh-and-blood woman on the move.

But geez, you can’t skip steps.

How badly do you want to feel better, how tired you are of running into the same wall, and how willing you are to draw on your own sense of courage in all this?

This is always up to you.

[Copyright Laura Burkett 2020]

With love & respect,


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