One of the things I’ve noticed over the last few weeks is that my appetite has gone walkabout — of course, this is a pretty common occurance in people who’ve had a serious emotional upset, and so it’s not really surprising. But it has made me curious.

Before I get to what I’m feeling curious about now, a little background. I am an Enneagram Type 7. (You can go here to read more about the Enneagram, which is a powerful tool for self-discovery.) This Enneagram Type is known as “The Enthusiast” — we’re “busy, fun-loving, and spontaneous.” We’re also people who tend to want more of everything, whether that translates to more clothes, more shoes, more travel, more parties, more food…. at normal levels, we’re acquisitive; at our unhealthiest, we’re gluttons, or worse. Which makes sense, because our basic fear is of deprivation and of being trapped in pain.

I began to study my type and how I tend to show up in the world about four years ago and since then I’ve been learning to want less, especially in material things. I’m weeding out the parts of my wardrobe that don’t really reflect who I am. I’m rethinking the need to buy books, when there’s a perfectly good library in town. And while I still want lots of experiences, I’ve come to understand that the deeper an experience is, the more it fulfills me. If I can really be present to it, I get so much more out of it.

But food, well, that was a different story. The pain that Sevens fear is emotional pain. We’d rather do anything than slow down enough to hurt. And food is a good way to distract from that. Though my intention is to eat healthily, and I generally do, there are also moments in my life when I eat a lot more than I need to. Diets have never been a long-term solution for me, because they push that “fear of deprivation” button so hard and so repeatedly. I have a lot of respect for my big body; I don’t hate the way I look, and I don’t hate the way I feel. Nevertheless, it’s clear that eating is an emotional issue for me.

Now, somewhat all of a sudden, I’m not really hungry any more. I can only eat half of my healthy and quite delicious Greek yogurt-blueberry-flax seed-granola concoction for breakfast. Half a deli sandwich and an apple do very nicely for lunch. I don’t want seconds at dinner, even if we’re having something really tasty. My one “vice” is eating a handful of Cheez-its in the afternoon, but I know that it’s because I need to gnash my teeth productively — I’m still really angry at Mr. Pants. (I’m also giving my night-guard a hell of a workout.) I’m giving myself a pass on that one.

So here’s what I’m curious about. As I work through what’s happening, and what isn’t happening anymore, in my relationship with Mr. P., my primary intention is to let myself feel all of the emotions that come up for me, and to feel them deeply. I have given myself permission not to be Little Mary Sunshine all the time, and I notice more often when I push my emotions aside. Can it be that by living my emotions, I’m also letting go of the need to eat them out of existence?

Image via Plan 59

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