The last Rebel Yell and Ben’s gift of Balance

I have always been an extremist. Black/white, right/wrong, yes/no – well, let’s face it, mainly no, to any form of authority. Rebel without a cause. Rebelling mainly it seems against myself – making life hard for myself, beating myself up or putting myself on a rack of my own making. Goodness, what a torturous path I have been trudging all these years.

I am a firm believer that children come to teach and heal us. They mirror us so perfectly and show us ourselves, they hold candles to illuminate our dark corners and recesses – those shadowy places where we would rather not see how we are, how we behave, what we show the world.

We ask ourselves where they get their ideas about life and how to behave from, and if we are brave enough, we see ourselves. It’s not pretty. It’s very confronting. Sometimes it is truly horrible. All we can do is change ourselves, our reactions to the world, our interactions, our perceptions. And we can read and listen and learn and try to be better parents, different parents to the way we were parented – less controlling, more patient, kinder etc . . . it all sounds so nice and sweet and obvious – but when the child is tired and hungry and throwing a complete tanty and the mother is desperate to get same child to bed so she can have some peace and quiet, things can degenerate very quickly if the Mum reacts at all. In other words, it’s bloody hard work!

Balance and the middle ground were unknown to me until Ben, the perfect Libran, came into my life and slowly, slowly (and against my knowing) started pulling me from my alternate extremes into the middle – neutrality, balance.

I see so clearly now how swift and sudden my swings can be. The recent cleanse has shown me how much of a role what we eat plays in our emotional and physical wellbeing. Now that I am back on ‘normal’ food I am finding that I miss how good I felt on the paleo primal diet and how many grainy foods really don’t agree with me. Just ask Ged about the first time I had lentils after my cleanse!!

So many grainy starchy foods are convenient and quick, requiring little thought or pre-planning but don’t serve us either in energy, clarity of mind or digestivity (did I just make that word up?) Of course vegetarians have to eat lots of pulses and grains to stay full and get enough protein. They are safe, familiar and filling. But actually, I have to admit, I felt amazing on the veggies, meat and seeds.

But now that I am eating grains again, I don’t fancy meat so much but I don’t feel as good in myself. I don’t want rules around food because as an anorexic and bulimic I have imposed far too many of those on myself in the past but I do want to feel the best I can – body, mind and spirit. I have long known that my vegetarianism was just another way of controlling what I ate and would ‘allow’ myself to put in my body. For sure I just need to relax and have no rules but I think it is important to know what serves me, nourishes me, fuels me. Because as I learn to love myself more I want to give myself what is good for me.

Because it feels like for so much of my life I have been torturing myself – with my thoughts, diet, repetitive running, and other strict regimes. And rebelling against any form of authority with my giant ‘f**ck you’. But in the process have been hurting only myself. Smoking for 15 years to spite my parents (hello?), drinking to excess to spite myself, drugs as my anti-establishment two finger salute, but the only one I harmed or scared or hated with all that was myself.

And I have always rebelled against ‘goodness’. Why don’t I want to be ‘good’, why do I want to be ‘bad’. Or is it that I believe I AM bad and therefore want to hurt myself accordingly, or that because I am bad I don’t deserve good things, or gentle treatment, or nurturing . . . or love?

I rebelled against my cleanse and jumped off the wagon to start supping my tea again. But you know what, my body has been telling me for more than 4 years that I have to give up the black tea. And I keep fighting and reclaiming my last great addiction, clinging to that pommy warming sustenance which actually no longer serves me. Bucking feeling good, clear and bright in the head, and glowing in body and mind. Why? Because I want to have one last vestige from my past life as an addict – because I want to stay an addict? because I want to feel bad? and be stressed and be cranky instead of peaceful and happy?

Wow, this self-sabotage of mine is sometimes mind-blowing. Literally.

I am going back on the cleanse in order to shed this unhealthy habit once and for all. And to let my light shine unfettered. And because tea stresses my adrenals which then hurt and powers up my negative monkey mind, whereas herbal teas make me feel lovely and ‘good’ and happy. I am going to further explore the no grains paleo primal diet and work out how to bring more health-giving foods into our lives and lifestyles, without compromising taste and flavour (I am always up for a bit of a kitchen magic challenge!)

I don’t know why I am so scared – I have been caffeine free before and it was great. Maybe it was because I was fat then that I am so scared of getting fat again (hello, that rings true!) I can be caffeine free and slim for sure!

In two weeks I am going to walk the middle way – balancing meat, grains, fruit and veg in healthy quantities (am so loving my huge daily salad). And picking fresh herbs from my beautiful herb garden for tisanes and fresh, healing drinks which nurture and sustain me.

I want to thank Ben who all those years ago brought meat into our lives and instigated the raising of our own meat animals and who shows me myself in all my fury and who is teaching me to love my inner child, the importance of play and relaxation, and how precious family time is together – just the three of us.

Both Ben and Ged have taught me that while it is tempting to rail at the behaviours and actions of others, we can only change, and heal, and help, ourselves. And by changing the way we see and react to the world around us, everything changes – the world shifts and a new paradigm is born.

So here I am, letting go again, free falling into the unknown and trusting that the grass is truly greener on the other side . . . so mote it be.

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