What do you want? Seems like such a simple question, doesnít it? But itís not. Those of us who swallow our emotions just donít bother to ask that question. Instead, when weíre uncomfortable, we reach for something to put in our mouths. Chocolate, chips, pasta, whatever our particular comfort food is.
A number of years ago, I stopped to ask this question. I had no answer! Did I want to talk to someone? Go to the movies? Sleep? Read? Many choices, and nothing seemed right.
So I decided then and there to do NOTHING until I figured out a positive answer to that question, until I could honestly say that I WANTED to do something. To the casual observer, I basically sat around the house for a day or two. But I was very busy on the inside. I was poking around, both physically and emotionally to figure out how I felt, in every sense of the word.
Maybe itís no surprise to YOU that there were places with physical pain that I hadnít recognized. Of course, there was also a whole pile of emotional discomfort, along with genuine fatigue.
Once I defined all those feelings, I had to set priorities. After all, there was a lot going on here! If memory serves me right, I took a nap. After all, if I was so tired, there was no point in trying to sort out anything else!
The biggest surprise, though, was that I rarely actually wanted FOOD. Comfort, escape, sleep, company, all those things. But not really food. In fact, it made me realize just how often I substituted food for what I REALLY wanted, or needed.
And so it continued. Step by step. Question by question. And after several months of this, I realized the truth: this was the beginning of me actually taking care of myself.
So, here it is: what do you want?