The Potter

I have come to find that I’m an “all or nothing” thinker. This can be a blessing, or a curse. I’m always searching for the middle ground, but sometimes it is hard to find. I’ve had to recommit to recovery this week when the “going got tough”. I found that, for this (recovery), I have to be “all in” or it’s just not going to work.

I made a decision to let go of the eating disorder. That’s what recovery is, right? But, as stated above, letting go means to change. How can you change if you don’t stretch your boundaries and everything stays the same? Recovery can’t happen if I’m doing everything the same today as I did yesterday. I have to let go and grab on (sounds like an oxymoron, right?).

I have to let go of anything that can be holding me back (the eating disorder or fears) and grab onto anything that will move me forward (professionals, the process and faith).

In my decision to let go of the eating disorder there has be change. Whether you choose faith or not, my example comes from my faith. As I was sitting in church, my pastor gave a great speech about how we are molded:

potter4Jeremiah 18

New International Version (NIV)

At the Potter’s House

18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”

My pastor then asked a series of questions…. Who is molding/shaping you? If God is not molding you, then what/who is? If we are not working to please God, then who are we working to please? Are we shaping ourselves for others? Society? Own benefit? What is our motivation in the shaping that is happening? Ultimately, who do you want to please?

potter3

Jeremiah 18:5

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”

We can be molded by the potter, but who is the potter? Do we choose to follow our faith, or do we choose to follow our feelings?

As I thought about this sermon (literally, I think the entire sermon was being spoken directly to me) I realized that there were a lot of great points made. I thought about some decisions I had recently made – who is molding and shaping me? Upon thinking, I realized that a lot of what was molding and shaping me has been the eating disorder. Insert epiphany <THAT WAS MY POTTER????> Then I had the moment of, “you’ve got to be kidding me?” But it was true… my potter was the eating disorder.

potter

Just before hearing this sermon I went out on a limb and decided that I had to go back to my “all or nothing” thinking and cut ties with the eating disorder. The only way I could do it was to cut all ties with anyone I know who has, or is dealing with, the eating disorder as well. Some ED friends are sick, and some are not…. Seeing pictures of sick friends popping up on my facebook newsfeed was less than helpful. So, I decided, if I have to sift through and drop the constantly sick ones. Really, seeing people struggle all the time is difficult when you are trying to walk the straight and narrow. As I was sifting I realized I need to just drop them all to see if it makes a change. If the eating disorder is molding me, then in some strange way, they could be too.

It’s different. There are some of whom I really wouldn’t mind staying in contact with, as they are recovery focused, and I see how far they have come and will continue to go; there are others who just can’t get out of the world – who say they see the potential of recovery, but their actions speak louder than their words. It’s a relief not seeing the constant updates of how terrible they are doing, and how they are back in the hospital etc. There is a point where the support is needed, but then a point where it really does hold you back. Instead of taking the chance in being wrong, I decided to just cut everyone off and try this on my own.

I do not want the eating disorder molding me – and in that, I do not want ED friends molding my thoughts or feelings either. As much as we try to deny it, when we see another person struggling, there is sometimes a twinge of jealousy because of how easy it feels to deal with things that (ED) way.

So, as I look at what is molding me, and I realize that it has been my feelings, the eating disorder, negativity and emotions… I have come to realize that the choice really is mine. Who do I want to please? I could stay in contact with the sick friends, which will hold me back, or I don’t have to. I could keep in touch with negative people to please them, but where will that get me?

I’ve struggled needing to do cut everyone off for quite some time. Each time I approached the situation I felt like I was letting people down. What I’ve realized is that other people are not in charge of my recovery, I am. They are not going to walk with me each day, each meal and in the tough situations. I have to “do me” in essence. I have to take myself into consideration and know that if something does not help me, I need to understand that I have to step away. Do I feel guilty? Yes. But is this the best for me? Yes.

So, as I move forward, it’s difficult to realize who may, or may not be molding you. Sometimes we may not be sure, and other times we may know. What I do know is that I’ll walk out of this process with new knowledge of who I am. I will be shaped into something different based on my experiences. I can choose how to be shaped based on where I put my trust. I know I don’t want my potter to be the eating disorder, and my true potter is God.

 

Something to think about…. Who/what is your potter?

potter2

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