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I know you remember it… that first crush you ever had?  Your first love?  How crazy and intense it was and how it made you feel like doing whatever you needed to do just to be with that person?  And then, it settled into a ‘real relationship.’  Something you could count on… you knew that you’d talk to and see each other every single day.  You became a part of each other’s lives.  And you grew closer and closer.  And then, it had to happen…it came to a crushing halt.  The break-up.

After we let someone or something become a part of our thoughts and hearts and we blend them into our day-to-day lives, it’s hard when they aren’t there anymore.  Really hard.  And then comes the times you bump into each other – awkward.  A combination of wanting to embrace them, but guarded because you can’t anymore… reminded of what isn’t in your life, followed by sadness because of the void.  I’m discovering that it’s often the void we don’t like, more than who or what we miss.

Recently, I joined an amazing program designed by Julie Felsher called Wake-Up: A 21 Day Detox with Purpose.  Wow… it is knocking my socks off!  The foods we eat aren’t my challenge – I actually love all of them!  It’s the emotions coming up that continue to surprise me.  (If you don’t think there’s a connection between physiological and psychological, think again!)  I’ve learned how so many of my eating habits are connected to some pretty deep emotions.  I knew that I ate foods to relieve stress, and I knew that often I would just cave into my good ol’ comfort foods: Warm melted cheesy foods, chips with some sort of dip, salty things, sweet things… and sometimes it wasn’t the food, but the environment the food was in – like an outdoor patio dinner at our favorite restaurant on a warm summer evening.  I always know right where to go to grab the comfort!

So, since beginning this mindful detox program, I’ve been carrying this low-grade sadness around.  It rises to the surface now and then… and today I realized that it has to do with the BIG break-up. It feels like the same sadness I had when I broke up with that crazy boy decades ago.  I feel like I’ve lost one of my best friends… you know, the one that’s always there, reliably comforting me, that makes my soul want to sing and dance…the first thing I think about in the morning and who is on my mind when I fall asleep!  The one that makes me feel like if a day goes by without them, it just doesn’t feel like a perfect day?  Well that’s how it feels without this connection in my life.

Who’s the lost love today?  What does that have to do with a Detox? Well, it’s my morning coffee.  It’s not the caffeine fix I’m craving… I don’t chug it down to get an extra skip in my step each day. Oh no…it’s much more sacred than that!  I realized that my morning coffee is the one thing I do for myself each day.  It’s the one thing I do slowly and with intention!  Even the way I stir the organic cream into the cup and watch the coffee swirl its way to the perfect color.  And even the way I hold the cup – wrapping my hands around it, feeling its warmth and drawing it in close so I can breathe in the aroma!

So then, I recognized it.  Co-dependence reared its ugly head.  This sadness isn’t just about missing my coffee ritual.  It’s about how dependent I’ve become on something outside of myself to make me feel good, worthy, and loved on the inside.  For the three weeks we are detoxing, I can give up my coffee, I’ve done that before.  But this time, I’m learning that I need to fill that void each morning with something else that is healthy and then connect it to feeling good, worthy and loved for having done that!  It’s not just the coffee I’m missing, it’s the emotional message I was giving to myself every morning… and I have attached self-love to the coffee cup.  I was stuck because I was missing the connection to my own heart and soul by depending on something else outside of myself to do that for me.  When it’s gone, I’m left in a permanent place of discomfort.  Nothing else I substitute measures up… replacing one thing for another doesn’t satisfy the craving for connection.  It pushes me into a waiting game (weighting game?).  Waiting for it to come back so I can reconnect to what makes me feel alive.  Instead, I need to find other ways to satisfy my craving to connect wholeheartedly with who I am and then love being that person.  Which means stepping into my purpose.  And until I do, I will just sit in the void waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the next something that will do that for me… until, of course, the break-up happens… again.

What I’m learning is that I can give myself that message in other ways and not have to carry such a deep sadness over the elimination of coffee from my diet, or anything else that feeds my soul.  I can find something healthy that I enjoy, and be mindful about attaching it to feelings of self-care, health, and my own well being… because I’m worthy of that.  So, the challenge is on!

What’s the one habit or ritual or guilty pleasure that you would NOT want to let go of for any reason?  I challenge you to let it go for 21 days and discover what underlying need you are attached to where its concerned.  I’m amazed at all the break-ups, breakdowns, and breakthroughs I am having by simply interrupting my eating habits.

Off to take a nice morning walk and enjoy this beautiful spring day!