It’s actually raining out today!!! And not like just a thunder storm moving through . . . it’s an actual steady, gentle rain. Why is that so amazing? Because this is Arizona! You know the song, “It Never Rains In Southern California” should have been written about Arizona. It’s a nice break from 110 degree temps. Rainy days bring back memories of baking cookies, creating homemade jam, icing a cake . . . one reason why when it rains, I love to bake, do you?
It’s great to reminisce, isn’t it? But let’s face it, sometimes a cookie isn’t just a cookie. Sometimes cookies represents warm memories of childhood, a feeling of comfort, family closeness and fun – all of which time has passed by. Today we live in a stressed out world where work pressures pursue us, children nag us, time constrains us and oh, how we long to be once again in that sweet innocent bubble called childhood. Unconsciously you reach for that gooey, soft peanut butter cookie and are magically transported back to an age of guiltless pleasure.
Really??? Is that true?! As we age we tend to build on memory, making childhood recollections greater than they actually were. We forget the fights with our sisters, being bullied by the school terror or that awkward puberty growth spurt, right? Sometimes stuffing painful memories deep into our subconscious is protection. Perhaps even today you find yourself turning to candy, ice cream or anything sweet to numb the pain, discouragement or fear inside you. You unconsciously eat.
Unconscious eating soothes the mood. It provides comfort and safety within our subconscious. It wraps completely around us and provides the same secure feelings as a mother’s arms, when we are too big to sit in her lap anymore. Food releases chemicals that quiets our anxiety when rumors abound that the plant might close. It’s a comfort during long weekends when your husband is away on yet another business trip. It numbs our fear while waiting for a teenager to return on an icy evening.
During moments like this, what do you find yourself craving? Craving crunchy; potato chips, pretzels or nuts, indicates suppressed anger. Or are you lonely and craving chocolate which contains Phenylethylamine, the same chemical emitted when you’re in love? Creamy foods such as ice cream or mac & cheese are comfort foods.
You need to understand that you control your feeling, feelings shouldn’t control you! Don’t apologize – they are after-all, your feelings and everyone should be entitled to feelings. If you suppress them, they will be released in other ways, anger, depression, revenge, etc. Just recognize and overcome them. You have power! 1 John 4:4, “You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Analyze why you feel the way you do and then create strategies and practice positive reactions.
Ever go from cupboard to pantry to fridge, looking for something and not finding what you’re really hungry for? Don’t know, can’t decide? Most likely, you are craving water. Your brain is saying it needs water, which is found in all foods. So before you give in to temptation, try drinking a glass of water first and waiting about fifteen minutes. Usually the craving will pass.
Lonely? Go to a public place like a library, antique mall, craft fair, dress shop or for a downtown walk. Exercise and fresh air release endorphins that provide a feeling of goodwill. If that doesn’t help, volunteer at a local hospital and count your blessings while cheering others.
Bored? Read a great mystery novel, watch an adventure or chick-flick, create a blog, take a walk, give yourself a facial, a bubble bath, go though old photo albums or start your memoirs.
You can overcome this, you have company: Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”