Rising to the eating disorder challenge: moving beyond recovery to renewal

Suburban Garden 3 spring
*pix a healthy garden expands and contracts with the seasons while simultaneously containing continuous decay and birth.

Our goal in healing needs to move beyond recovery and into the realm of continuous renewal.

Eating disorders affect every facet of a person's life every day. But to focus only on the eating disorder in order to recover limits us to the first few steps of recovery. And then the dreaded and oft discussed relapse descends.

Eating disorders are encouraged, even promoted, by our society through the media. But to focus on magazine or website or film that body shames puts pressure on one aspect of a resilient theme that will only emerge in a different avenue or be repressed only to rise up again with added power.

Real and lasting recovery demands that we go deeper and create our own system for continuous renewal. 

Healing is not  about stopping an eating disorder. Healing is about liberating your life.  We are parting from the seed, plant, bloom, wither and die metaphor.  We are moving to the complete and ever changing resilient garden.  This is a whole ecosystem that meets challenges, changes, contains what decays and what sprouts simultaneously and continuously and lives on.

We need to expand our view. We need to come out from a limited goal that is often steeped in unrealistic fantasy. Ending an eating disorder does not guarantee a wonderful life. But living in a resilient system of constant renewal can bring you the joyous wonder of being fully alive. 

That means fully embracing the decay of the finished and the birth of the new in an ever changing dance of life, not just for one individual but for society and our world. 

  1. What makes life meaningful to you?
  2. What activities enhance that meaning in your life?
  3. How do you carry or have around you ideas or objects that no longer serve you?
  4. What thoughts lead you to a meaningful future?
  5. What thoughts drag you back to a decaying past?
  6. What old dreams need to be discarded so you can follow new and more vibrant visions?

I'll be writing in more detail about this.  Please share your views.

*pix  By Ron Shirt, CC BY-SA 2.0,


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