TRANSFORMING GLUTTONY INTO NURTURING
The final part of the seven deadly sins series is about transforming gluttony into a deep experience of nurturing and devotional love of the body. Gluttony refers to over-indulging or over-consuming to the point of discomfort, sickness or extreme waste. Gluttony can refer to any form of consumption, but generally relates to food or alcohol.
People who have gluttony in their shadow are often the most intuitive when it comes to nurturing their body. They actually know on a deep level what their body needs, and they know how to nurture, and experience pleasure, rest and relaxation, so the gluttony is a form of self-sabotage and self-destruction. Gluttons are often in touch with the best and most healing forms of nurturing the body.
Like any habit, gluttony or over-consumption is the response that we have when we are not getting our needs for love met. Because we feel unlovable, we eat or drink to numb the feeling of extreme vulnerability. But, as Brene Brown says, when we numb our feelings of vulnerability, we also numb our potential to feel joy. Gluttony is the choice that people make when a feeling of numbness is preferable to a feeling of vulnerability.
Healing gluttony is all about getting in touch with the fears that lead to over-consumption, and establishing a dialogue with your body.
CLEAR THE FEARS
To understand the fears that lead to gluttony, you need to ask yourself what is underneath your choices to over-consume. Finish these sentences: if I keep eating/drinking, I will feel… [X] and then I will feel…[X] and then I will feel…[X] If you keep answering these questions, you will arrive at the heart of your deepest fear.
If you can go into this fear and feel the core of the feeling of discomfort- you are then free to clear the gluttony impulse. This decision to clear the fear is a brave one, and one that will change your life forever, because you will be free of the need to numb your pain and vulnerability.
DEVELOP A DEVOTIONAL LOVE FOR YOUR BODY
Once you are in touch with your reasons for gluttony, you then need to establish an intimate relationship with your body. You need to ask your body, ‘Do we want to consume this?’ ‘Will this be nourishing for us?’ When you can hear and heed the answers to these questions, you are in a healed relationship with your body.
As Don Miguel Ruiz writes in The Mastery of Love (pp. 154-155),
“Every day, you can offer a devotional love to your own body. When you take a shower, when you take a bath, treat your body with all your love, treat your body with honour, with gratitude, with respect. When you eat, take a bite, close your eyes, and enjoy the food…Do this every day, and you will feel your love for your body growing stronger each day, and you will never again reject yourself…You treat others with the same love, the same honour, the same respect, and the same gratitude you use with yourself. When you make it your goal to create the perfect relationship between you and your body, you are learning to have a perfect relationship with anyone you are with…”
Affirmations for gluttony: I love, honour and nurture my body. It is safe for me to feel fear and joy.