Radical self-care requires a primary skill: expert listening. We need to listen deeply to ourselves and what we need. Being obsessed with food causes us to stop listening to the wisest voice of all—our own. Binging clogs our senses—especially our ability to hear the still small voice inside that wants to be free from addiction. 

Huh? Did you say something?

Yes. If we are binging, we cannot hear that inner voice that is whispering something like — “enough!” When we are in the throes of addiction, it is hard to hear our own needs, much less the needs of others. And right now, we are needed in our world more than ever. 

When we listen to our needs, we can reach out for help. What we do at Beacon is listen for a living. Listening is the primary skill we use, and in this way, we teach clients to listen to themselves, to hear what they need. 

Sadly, listening is seldom recognized or taught as a formal skill, yet according to the Center for Hearing and Communication, listening makes up 45% of our everyday communication. And there is nowhere near enough research on how important it is to listen to ourselves!  

People with active addiction have underdeveloped internal listening skills. The good news is that like any other skills, they can be developed. The volume of that quiet voice is amplified when we stop using addictive food choices and learn to listen to the real hunger. What is the sound of real hunger? We can differentiate real hunger from emotional hunger when we listen deeply. 

Life can get noisy and overwhelming, so we numb ourselves with excess food. If we scramble our lives with the noise of active food addiction, it shuts out the beautiful sounds of life, like laughter, singing birds, your tears, a cooling breeze, leaves falling, hearing the words “I love you,” hearing your life.

If you are reading this and feel clogged with food, know that you can unclog and fine-tune your life by tuning in to it.

Shine bright! 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash