It starts young.
Surrounded by family and friends at the Thanksgiving dinner table, you feel
like you belong. After a shot at the doctor's office, the pain disappears
as your bravery is rewarded with the sweet taste of a sucker. And even
before you had the capacity to form explicit memories, a breast or a bottle or
even a well-timed pacifier taught you that someone cared.
Then the food manufacturers step in and take it to a different level. They know how your sense of smell is the most powerful trigger of memory. They've been studying the science of taste since long before you could even wield a fork. With top secret recipes, they manipulate the ingredients in your food. A little more salt here. A sprinkle of sugar there. Like mad scientists, they play with different combinations, trying to find ways to control an old part of your brain called the appestat until you literally “can't eat just one."
Or can you?
Look down at your hand. I’m pretty sure you won’t see any strings attached there. That an outcome is predicated on something outside your power to influence can be comforting. Blaming government or your parents or just dumb luck allows you to shrug off any role your own actions may have played in getting you to where you are right now. But the truth is, as much as you may not want to admit it, you do have control. Yes, your parents gave you a genetic road map. Circumstances may dictate the actual driving conditions on any given day. But you’re the one who ultimately controls where your vehicle goes and how it gets there.
Taking responsibility for yourself and what you’re creating from moment to moment is a scary idea. It puts all the pressure on you. The moment you realize that you’re wearing the results of every decision you’ve ever made can be intimidating. Yet, having a bunch of experts or doctors or even patterns of behavior you turn to every time Life happens can easily keep you from recognizing your own guru—you.
And you is where your power lies.
In various scenarios where life hangs in the balance, one of the characteristics which separates victims from survivors is the idea of control. Survivors innately believe they have some sort of power. They think they can affect the outcome of a particular situation. And right or wrong, that belief allows them to become key players in their own destinies.
You are a survivor. You come from a long line of survivors or else you wouldn’t be here. And regardless of the programming you have around eating; despite any memory you may have which binds you to a certain food or creates some culinary cage from which you can’t seem to escape—you are the one in control. And that thought alone should empower you. And if you allow them to, all of your thoughts can serve you the same way.
Trade in scapegoats for allies. Rid yourself of blame and strengthen yourself with belief. Your thoughts create your reality. And while the past may have taught you how to use food to control your thoughts, that perspective is not only inaccurate—it doesn’t serve you anymore. To survive now, allow yourself to take charge of your thoughts. Own them and recognize when specific ones no longer contribute to the dream you want to create. The one you want to live right now.
The dichotomy of the Universe tells us that for every negative thought there must be a positive one. Otherwise the negative would cease to exist. So focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. It may not come easy at first. You’ve had a lifetime of learned behavior which is literally programmed into you at the subconscious level. Some habits may be so deeply ingrained that they could take years to reverse. But like anything else, success is predicated on consistency.
So try being your own expert. Seek guidance from the healer in you. Practice being the optimist. For when you do, every cell in your body shares that identity with you. You can literally impact their chemical make up simply by changing the way you think. And the most powerful nourishment you can offer your cells are ideas of Love, Gratitude, Health, and Chi. More than food then, your body feeds on thought. Feed it well, my friend. And, more importantly, feed it Good.