A friend was visiting me for the last week and we did a lot of remodeling tasks. On his second day here he brought me a piece of German chocolate cake from the Piggly Wiggly along with a treat for himself. I thought for just a moment about telling him about my experiment, but I didn’t. [What should I be calling this? Sobriety??]
When I ate the cake, I felt a calm in my chest and then my perspective pulled back and I felt a distance – a separation from myself. Now I was watching myself from the outside. I continue to have that perspective, blended with a dollop of shame, as I continue to eat candy (ice cream, cookies, etc.).
My pain now is coming from withholding the truth from my friend. I did finally tell him I had done my experiment, but put the timeline slightly different so I didn’t blame him. The story I told myself was I didn’t want to hurt his feelings when he brought me the cake. . . blah, blah, story, excuse, blah.
Truth-er: I knew this was coming before he got off the plane. I didn’t tell him ahead of time deliberately to have a jump off point.
This morning I read this note from Cheri Huber, the Zen teacher:
“This is just the latest in a long series of offerings aimed at getting people who want to wake up and end suffering to move out of ego’s comfort zone. In support of the merits of this current challenge, someone sent me an article from New Yorker Magazine about an extraordinary athlete, Kyle Korver, who understands very well the benefits of such challenges. Here’s part of the article:
But [Korver’s success at basketball] also has something to do, these past few seasons, with a Japanese ritual called misogi. According to Janine Sawada, a religious-studies professor at Brown University, the word misogi dates back to eighth-century Japan: it originally described a mythical taboo journey to the underworld, and, later, in medieval Japan, the painful but purifying deeds of ascetics. Korver practices a decidedly modern version: “Once a year, you do something that you’re really not sure you can do.”
Read the whole post at http://blog.thezencenter.org/from-the-guide.
I have done something this year I didn’t think I could do. I went over 60 days with no candy and I took almost every moment of craving to explore the feelings of desire and loss that came up.
The phrase, “Now what?” keeps coming up. I’m thinking that he left a Snickers in the freezer because he’s not the kind of person to take a bag of snacks for the flight home to Arizona. I don’t know if I’m more grateful for the five windows he put up in my sunroom or the tearful lesson that cake is going to bring me.