I have been really digging the latest Florence and the Machine album. There is a line in one of the songs that says, “I’ve been keeping secrets from my heart and from my soul.” The first time I realized what she was saying, I was blown away. How many of us do this? I know I do and I am really good at it. As long as I don’t say anything to anyone else and I pretend it’s not happening, I can keep a secret from my heart and from my soul for a long time. The problem is that it starts to wear me down. Doing this actually begins a dangerous pattern within me. I begin to experience feelings of isolation and depression. The more I feel this, the less I communicate with others–even my friends. Before I know it, I have made subtle changes in my life in order to keep a secret. I wonder how many people can relate to this. Hearing the words in a song lyric was very validating that I wasn’t the only one.
Secrets are a big issue with me. I used to love them. I loved to keep them and I loved to tell them. I’ve been in many sticky situations because of secrets. I remember hearing in early sobriety that “you’re only as sick as your secrets.” Well, I was pretty sick! After being beaten by enough secrets, I avoid them like the plague. I beg friends and family not to tell me secrets. The burden is too heavy for something that usually doesn’t really matter anyway. I always end up saying the wrong thing to the wrong person and inevitably, someone is upset with me.
When clients confide in me, it is something very different. It is easy for me to carry their secrets, I guess because it really has no bearing on my life and I don’t usually know the cast of characters. I was able to experience this from a client perspective last week. I was trading energy work with a colleague and friend of mine. There was a personal issue going on with me that I had been denying to myself. Minutes after she starting working on me, she asked me about it point-blank. I laughed to myself and knew I needed to let go and say what has been happening out loud to another caring human being. Very much the same as the 5th step in a 12 step recovery program. The 5th step states that we are to admit to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Doing so provides us a freedom and the ability to “look the world in the eye”-Bill W. Once the secret was out, it no longer had any control. My heart and my soul were very much aware of what was going on. I knew that they knew and it made me think about ways to address the issue. It’s funny to me how much effort I can put into not dealing with things. I know I need to deal with it eventually, but I choose, instead, to torture myself for extended periods of time. Just another reminder that there is always room to grow. Progress, not perfection.
Nutritional tip #3–soup. There is an old Italian saying which says: “Soup does seven things. It relieves your hunger, quenches your thirst, fills your stomach, cleans your teeth, makes you sleep, helps you digest and colors your cheeks.” That is a pretty big statement. I am not sure that it has done all of those things for me but I have been making soup a major staple in my diet for the past few months. I am lucky enough to have a personal chef (aka my husband) who gladly makes large pots of soup for me whenever I request. We make a run to the local farmer’s market and stock up on seasonal vegetables to use in the soup. There is usually beans or barley and sometimes a little meat. My husband has a natural talent with soup, along with many other foods. I have attempted to make it myself a few times and I am never too happy with the results. It is for this reason that I am not providing a recipe. I trust there are many wonderful recipes in books and on the internet for anyone interested in trying their hand at soup making.
Once it is made, I freeze it in smaller batches. I am able to defrost a couple servings at a time. I heat it in the morning, put it in my thermos and take it for lunch most days of the week. I also have it for the occasional dinner when the rest of the family is having something I don’t care for. It’s nice to have on hand when I am short on time but in need of something nutritious to eat.