Last week, after surviving the flu, sinus-infection, ear-infection-thing I had, we
went out to eat because neither one of us felt like cooking. And . . . I got food poisoning. No, I will not describe what happened next. You can imagine. Or you can look it up, but I’m not getting into graphic details.
I was amazed at how smart my body was, though. It was not going to allow, not for one minute, anything that was so harmful to stay in my system. My job was to stay in the house and drink water to keep from drying out. I dried out so fast my eyes had trouble blinking. The cure for food poisoning is counter-intuitive. After the first wave of death is over, you begin to eat a lot of fiber–red peppers, nuts, apples, celery. No clear broth for three days. You also eat yogurt to replenish the bacteria your digestive tract needs.
Why am I writing about food poisoning? Because I wish my emotional self were as smart as my physical self. How often have I known a relationship, friendship, client, job were not good for me and kept up the pretense. Wouldn’t it be great if our heart and emotional self were as good as rejecting what is bad for us, what will harm us, as thoroughly as our gut?
When we do, we feel just as bereft and drained as our physical body does with food poisoning. But emotional poisoning is just as damaging, and there is no reason to clutch it to us.
The difference between emotional poisoning and food poisoning is that we can’t control our body’s defenses, but oh, what a bad job we do of holding on to emotionally damaging relationships. We are afraid of being alone, of change, or what we don’t know yet. So we keep clutching onto the bad relationship, hoping we will change enough to make the relationship work. The job is killing us, but we keep trying to prove we can do it well, because we don’t know for sure what we would do next. Although, if we listen to ourselves, we would hear what we want next.
So what’s the emotional fiber that restores us to balance? What’s the spiritual yogurt that puts us together again? It’s just as counter-intuitive as the physical fiber: trust your gut. Trust yourself to know what is not good for you. Don’t look at all the reasons you need to stay–look instead at their foundation. If all your reasons are based in fear, rooted in lack, or imagined attack, they are not real.
Your gut knows what you want, what is good for you, what you need. Look for what feels like freedom, joy, like breathing easily. Head toward that. It will restore you to the person you want to be.
—Quinn McDonald learned a lot in the bathroom last week. And she is over the food poisoning, happier for having learned something.
14 thoughts on “Emotional Food Poisoning”
You had me at spiritual yogurt. Never a dull moment here, Quinn!
Well, you know how it is–slightly tangy, unsweetened (at least mine), and light. And filled with good things you can’t see. I will reach faaaar for a metaphor!
Yes, wouldn’t it be great if the toxic build-up from relationships and jobs that poison our happiness could be expelled as quickly? And of course we’d never indulge in the same fare again.
The ideal, yes.
Thanks again for the reminder of the poisons we have surrounding us. Some of us are drawn to them for some reason. If only we could expel them like you did. Thanks for the much needed boost. Diane in AZ
It’s hard to let go, when our instinct is to change ourselves to be accepted.
Thank you once more for offering your wonderful thoughts. I have chewed this over so much and know the answer. It is still painful but need to let it go and move on. This is very difficult for me yet I will be much better if I do what I know is best.
The triggers of a past emotional trauma is strong. The trick is to immediately remember that the situation–and our selves–is different.
Emotions can take away our knowing not to let them control us…tears
come in the night, but joy comes in the morning…Pray..all is well,
No emotion is ever wrong, but our interpretation of the emotion’s effect on our life, and our reaction, well, that’s always tricky.
“The job is killing us, but we keep trying to prove we can do it well, because we don’t know for sure what we would do next. Although, if we listen to ourselves, we would hear what we want next.” This is so very true.
I’ve lived it to learn it. More than once.
Soooooo needed to read this today. What a great analogy . Thank you!
Something good has to come out of that experience!