When I went through my weight loss process I was incredibly open minded.
I considered all kinds of possibilities: if I didn’t want to stop eating but felt bad about my weight, maybe the answer was to stop feeling bad about my weight?
Maybe my objections to being overweight were just cultural conditioning?
This kind of thinking helped break down my old thought patterns. Even though I eventually concluded that it wasn’t simply cultural conditioning, or a desire to look more attractive to others.
What was it?
In the end it wasn’t about health or attractiveness. What it came down to was that my appearance didn’t match how I felt about myself; and that disconnect between feeling and appearance was the real source of my discomfort.
In much the same way I’ve felt the same kind of disconnect between how I feel about myself and my whole reality.
I’ve only met a couple of people in my life who share this feeling. Most people have areas of life where their expectations don’t match their reality, but for me it is a deeper and more pervasive sense of incongruence.
I used to find some solace in philosophical skepticism because for all we know we really might just be brains floating in jars (a standard philosophical thought-experiment). Reality might not be real. And that thought brought me comfort.
When I looked in the mirror I felt discord. When I look at reality I feel discord.
Through attempting to understand weight loss I eventually discovered that the discord was already in me. I already felt bad about aspects of life, and I used food as a distraction from it. But the distraction only perpetuated the bad feelings, giving them physical form in weight gain.
Being overweight was a physical representation of my discord.
(As an aside, dis-cord means negation of the heart, from the French.)
I didn’t resolve my discord, I just decided to stop distracting myself with food and by letting myself feel the discord instead I changed my eating habits dramatically and lost weight as a result.
The same process also relieved chronic pain I had suffered.
Surely the same principle applies on a global scale: the discord in reality itself is a representation of the discord in me.
The many things that bother me are distractions and externalisations of something already within me.
Don’t blame external conditions for “making” me feel discord; I already felt it, and denying it has pushed it out into external manifestation.
Reality is therefore doing its job perfectly. It is perfectly reflecting what I feel inside – even if I don’t like it.
Don’t blame reality for something that I’m projecting into it. If reality changed right now I would still feel discord.
I like knowing that the discord is in me rather than in reality. I’ll be glad to stop feeding discord into my reality. I’d prefer to just feel the discord in myself directly rather than create external conditions for me to blame.
Either way I feel discord, so I might as well keep it simple and just feel it directly. And in saying that, I notice that I reach out subtly for distraction, in much the same way that I used to look to food for distraction. I subtly reach out to my external reality for some kind of distraction from my own discord.
I appreciate noticing this subtle dynamic. I’d prefer to just feel the discord rather than try to distract myself ineffectively. I’m curious as to how reality will look and feel if I stop using it in a flawed attempt to escape from discord.
It’s okay to feel discord if that is what I’m feeling. It’s healthy to allow myself to feel whatever I’m feeling rather than trying to escape it, which doesn’t work anyway. I appreciate my growing conviction that reality has in fact been perfect in its reflection of my discord. It’s up to me to not project my discord on reality – reality itself has never been at fault in this dynamic.
I’ll end the post here even though it feels unresolved, because I can see that it is better to accept the unresolved feeling than to push for some kind of resolution. Let’s call it the resolution of being okay even if things feel unresolved 😉