Eating in anger sucks. Seriously.
Eating by choice, with awareness, and in peace, works!
“Be aware of your emotional state when you sit down to eat. Sit. Breathe. Feel peace. You will enjoy your meal far more when you are eating in choice and in peace than if you are stressed and weighed down by negative emotions. Your body will easily release anything it doesn’t need, and accept and absorb nutrients far better when it isn’t trying to digest negative thoughts and emotions.”
This is a statement I have made many times over the years to clients. It has made a profound difference in my life and the lives of others.
Until one day I forgot…
I sat in my car, hands clutching my belly, trying to breathe through a wave of nausea. My head was spinning, and tears filled my eyes. The anger of the morning was slowly starting to release. I replayed in my mind the emotional upset I had spewed all over my children.
Eggs. I usually love eggs. I felt queasy just thinking about them. Why did they make me so sick this time? Did my body decide that because I was spewing anger, it may as well spew my food?
My mind reflected on my first conversation of the day.
“We’re late for school, Jackson. Please go get dressed.”
“I can’t Mommy; my legs don’t work.”
“Jackson. Get ready for school, right NOW! I’m late for work and have a million things to do today. Go. Now!”
And the fight ensues.
Have the words, “I hate you!” ever escaped your child’s lips? Not fun.
I’m sure I am not the only person who has ever had this experience. Man, I was so angry! As a single mom, I don’t get many breaks; baths, teeth, laundry, beds, housework, homework, taxiing children to and fro, starting a business, paying the bills, church responsibilities, and on and on.
This particular morning was special. After my early morning meeting, I was going on a work retreat! So, everything needed to go just as planned.
And of course, when my alarm went off, I accidentally hit the dismiss button instead of the snooze button. It was set to give me just the right amount of time to get everything finished before it was time to go. Now, I’d lost a half an hour.
Struggling to get everything ready: breakfast, kid’s lunches, my lunch, myself, finish packing and get the luggage in the car; I desperately needed the children to be responsible and take care of themselves.
Of course, this would be the morning that my seven-year-old decides to have “broken legs.”
I quickly scrambled eggs for the 3 of us, threw them on plates, and we all rushed to the car. Still angry. Jackson, bawling his eyes out because of the fight, tells me, “I love you with all my whole heart, Mommy.” Rather than letting his little voice calm my heart, I angrily pointed my finger at him and told him that it’s never ok to say to someone you hate them.
In my anger and hurry, I scarfed down the eggs between spurts of furious words while driving my little girl to school. She hated this particular preschool and cried every time I dropped her off. I didn’t need another crying child. I kissed her tear-streaked little face, pushed her towards her teacher and we left for my son’s school.
And then it hit. Like a rock. Specifically, the eggs were like rocks in my tummy. I was SO sick. It was one of those moments when your stomach turns queasy, and your mouth starts to water, in preparation to evacuate the food you just consumed. It was tough to focus on the road.
All I wanted to do was lie on the bathroom floor, close my eyes and breathe the pain away.
I have always taught that eating when you are upset is not a good idea. Or when you’re anxious. Or any stressful emotional state. But at that moment, the only thing I was thinking was, “Get the kids to school. Feed myself. Feed the kids. Get to work. Damn Jackson for making today the day to be defiant. Damn me for not getting up earlier. Life is horrible. Nothing ever goes my way.”
Were those things true? No. But at that moment, it didn’t matter. It’s the reality I was living and feeling at the time. Once I got to his school, we hugged, and I told him I was sorry it was such a rough morning (understatement), and I told him how much I love him.
The truth? Well, that came while I sat in the car allowing my body to calm down, helping my body let go of the physical turmoil I experienced after devouring the eggs. The more I calmed down, the more easily I saw the truth. Jackson didn’t ruin the morning. He wasn’t being defiant. He is a 7-year-old little boy who was tired because he was up late the night before. He was going to miss his mommy because he knew he was going to Daddy’s that day, (and there’s a whole host of emotions that goes along with that) and he needed to feel loved and cared for.
I didn’t get up late on purpose. I was also up late the night before trying to get everything ready. I was tired, and I also desired to feel loved. I was going to miss my babies.
Everything was going to be okay. And guess what? Everything was okay. I arrived in plenty of time to spend a few moments taking care of my emotions and tummy. My meeting was fantastic. There was time to go back to my house and grab the things I had forgotten for my work retreat.
I had forgotten to trust. When I trust, it is easy to feel peace. When I forget to trust, my life turns to chaos.
Trust that everything really will work out. Even if it isn’t the way, I imagine. And when everything blows up around me, trust that there’s a reason. Because believe me, things blow up sometimes. Trust that I can, if I choose, find the gift in every experience, seemingly good or bad.
Had I allowed space for trust this morning, perhaps I would have been more aware of what I was feeling and would have been open to my little boy and his needs.
Boy, do I have a way to go before I’m good at this stuff!
What is the lesson here? What is the moral of this story?
Please, please, do NOT eat eggs when you are angry. It is NOT a pleasant experience.
Comment below about a time when you ate while in a negative emotional state. How did you feel? Physically and emotionally? Check out our products and programs that can help bring you to a place of choice in life.