The Father’s Hug

What happens when the drive for health becomes unhealthy? asks Jenny Brockie, host of SBS Insight, as she explores our nations “health obsession” with a roomful of people and three 20+ year olds struggling to recover from disordered eating and eating disorders. As I watched the show I found myself reflecting on the power of the fathers hug to bring soothing and rest to a heart of anxiety.

When a heart is anxious and troubled, what helps settle that is to be held, to be hugged by someone who loves us, who cares for us, whose heart and intention is good towards us. This settles our anxious heart. It helps us to rest and be at peace and from this base (of peace), to make decisions and choices that lead to better outcomes, healthier responses rather than fearful reactions….and more disordered eating.

What drives the movement from health to unhealth? Fear. Fear that rides on the coattails of lies believed. You’re not good enough.

So you… try harder, do better, be thinner, be healthier, exercise more (self and body) control.

And you chase your tail down the slippery slope of disordered eating into a full-blown eating disorder because the anxiety and need to exercise control does not abate, it increases. This is the nature of eating disorders.

To feel driven, compelled, pushed. To lose the freedom to CHOOSE.

To become isolated, withdrawn, dis-connected.

Oh but the healing power in the fathers embrace.

To be seen, known, loved, valued.

Irrespective of our struggles. Perfection not expected.

Strong arms and a warm heart that embrace and impart a sense of shelter from the storm, safety, security, protection, support.

Not your experience? I understand.

Our experience shapes but does not define us. Your true worth and value stand regardless of your experience (like a $100 bill that’s been trampled and spat on but is still worth $100). And there is One who sees and knows and loves you. Does not expect perfection. Knows it’s impossible. Understands your anxious heart. Longs to embrace you. Face to face. Eye to eye. To find yourself known, loved, safe, secure (though the mountains fall and the earth may change), even then.

Such comfort, such peace to impart to a troubled heart.

I have found such peace in the Father’s hug.

 

About the Author

Michelle is a physiotherapist and professional counsellor with lived experience of anorexia, EDNOS and binge-eating in her teen and early adult years. Founder of Women Worth their Weight, and author of Illuminating Anorexia Michelle is passionate about helping people recover from these health and life consuming problems.