Hello, Dr. Anita Johnston here.
I am here in Greece at the Sunken City. Somewhere beneath that water is a city, and I am going to take you with me as I go looking for it. Somewhere out there is a 5,000 year old city that was sunk by an earthquake many years ago.
I am going down in search of the Sunken City.
Amazing! The Sunken City is right here — close to shore. Strangely enough, the search I am on is not unlike the search for recovery from eating difficulties. To get lasting recovery, you have to be willing to dive deep down into the depths of your psyche, not sure what you will find, but somehow knowing there is something important there for you to see, that will bring you a greater depth and breadth of understanding. Not just about why you struggle with food and eating, but also who you are, and where you come from, and most importantly, about where you are headed in this journey through life.
Look at this ancient city that was submerged 5,000 years ago! You can see the remnants of rooms and walls that were inhabited long, long ago. This is not unlike our psyches, and our symptomology. They have a history. We have ancestors whose DNA we carry. We have layers and layers of memories of past experiences from our childhoods that have been revised over time, just as this city now has walls that have become floors that sea urchins attach to and fish swim around. This happens in our psyche whether we know it or not.
We all have an unconscious mind. An unconscious mind is that aspect of ourselves that we are not aware of, and it contains parts of ourselves that cannot be seen at a glance, any more than you can see this submerged city from sitting on the beach. Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” Doesn’t that feel like the disordered eating experience? “I just can’t stop this thing that keeps happening.”
And look at these jars! They are called amphora, which are ancient Greek prehistoric pottery vessels, which were used as containers to store precious oils and spices. Now here’s where things get weird. The word metaphor comes from the same root word as amphora. It is used to describe a container that carries information in symbolic form. But the information is hidden in the metaphor. So, a symbol is something that may be familiar in daily life, but actually possesses specific connotations in addition to its obvious meaning. It implies something unknown or hidden from us – hidden from our conscious mind.
When you dive deep into your psyche and find the metaphor that contains the meaning for the foods that you crave or fear, when you submerge yourself in the actual meaning of your struggle with food or your weight (rather than just staying on the surface counting calories or fat grams, or watching the numbers on the scale,) that’s how you can find lasting recovery. This is where we get to understand what Jung meant when he said, “We are not what happened to us. We are who and what we choose to become.” But to get there, this requires that you bring what is unconscious, what is stored in the day to day symbolism of what you are doing with food, into the light of consciousness.
This is how you can take what appears to be your fate, and have it become your destiny.
You can see who you are meant to become in this life, and where you are meant to go.
So from Light of the Moon Cafe in Greece, until next time.