EATING DISORDERS: The strategy of a mind marked by guilt and punishment. (Part 1)


Accessing the roots of a disorder can shed light on it, help us understand it and even heal it.

Let’s discuss what bulimia is, or what causes it. I want to begin with the latter, because hidden there is a clue that points to its structure. Trying to figure out how and why bulimia develops is a great challenge for medical science. But those of us who work with the psycho-emotional aspects behind diseases have found clues that help people break the underlying energy structures of illnesses.

According to the people who are tormented by this disorder that we have received at our retreats in the past 15 years, the suffering caused by bulimia is, in a way, a redemption of the unconscious feeling of guilt they experience. Bulimics need to purge their guilt. They are both victims and executioners. They feel a great impurity in their bodies and need to release the violence they feel towards themselves. There is a profound rejection linked to their sexuality, but also an emotional anguish caused by abandonment. (There are many forms of abandonment) and each person has to access the type of abandonment they experienced and connect with the void it created. As we always say in this blog, diseases are multi-factorial in origin, but detecting one of these factors can help a lot.

Bulimia is like a roller coaster with sharp bends and intense ups and downs: Full, empty, full, empty, full, empty… a game that gives the illusion of satisfaction. A permanent search for fullness and for emptiness. A game of sharp contrasts. A game played by the bulimic, not only with physical food but also with beliefs, ideologies, thoughts. They do the same with their minds as they do with their bodies: permanently filling them up and then emptying them. Eating and vomiting, putting on and losing weight, filling and emptying. It is like committing a crime and asking for forgiveness, missing and paying, accumulating and then getting rid of it. It is the same unconscious game of compensation.

In the end, the game exhausts individuals. The ups and downs make them dizzy and tired. But why is eroding vital energy the end game?

Eating disorders manage to reduce the energy of the victim and thus eliminate the chance to LIVE YOUR LIFE. There is only one vital energy and it expresses itself in different ways: through intellect, intuition and instinct (the last one is connected with sex). This vital energy tends to express itself naturally and is at its strongest when the girl wants and is capable of becoming a woman. If, for whatever reason, this energy cannot be expressed, the body will not know what to do with it. Thus, it will cut the main supply line (nutrition), unconsciously creating an imbalance that alerts the whole life system that something is not right internally. Eating disorders exist in order to, among other things, shrink the production of vital energy. A body without energy cannot experience sex and love. Both phenomena occur in the body, and it is the body that is being punished. The two most important energy manifestations that are repressed from childhood are sex and love. With that, pleasure and emotion are being punished, leading inevitably down a path of hate and self-destruction. Such impotence, outrage and rage can be expressed in two different directions, either towards others or towards ourselves. All these repressions are costly, and can be paid for with our health or with our lives.

Bulimia is not a disease, but one of the ways in which a more profound sickness linked to sexual dissatisfaction manifests itself: repression, castration and guilt combined with fear of love. Actually, this mixture of guilt about feeling pleasure and fear of feeling love is one of the central sicknesses of human beings, and the origin of multiple manifestations or symptoms. Bulimia is one such manifestation.

These short lines or paragraphs are but an introduction to the topic we will deal with in-depth with the giver of life, she who creates the foundations of every child and gives her sons and daughters key permissions: the MOTHER. For a mother, accessing the root of imbalances, disorders and some diseases implies opening up and examining everything that happened to her and how she reacted before, during and after giving birth. The FATHER is also a vital part of the life of a child, but it is the mother who leaves the deepest marks. That is why we call the first language spoken by any human being their  “MOTHER tongue”. Because it is the language that their mother used and taught them.

It is amazing to see how, to a greater or lesser extent, mothers transfer all their energy to their children, their beliefs, fears, limitations, weaknesses, guilt, anger, conclusions and even their own sense of self. All this is passed to the psyches of their children, creating everything.

In 2002, I had many cases of women suffering from bulimia who were being treated in a therapy centre I had in Madrid, after I had given a conference on alternative therapies in a clinic that dealt with eating disorders in Bogotá, Colombia. While I was there, I came into contact with an experienced team of professionals, and I seized the opportunity during dinner to ask the psychologist of the clinic a question I had been pondering: Is bulimia a disorder linked to the relationship with the mother? Psychologist Diana Bernal replied: “All the women we receive at the clinic that have eating disorders go through individual therapy as part of the healing process. 100% of them manifest they have different conflicts with their mothers, a damaged relationship with the source of life and provider of nourishment: THE MOTHER”.

For more than two decades, I have been researching problems, disorders and imbalances myself. My work is based on meticulous observation of each individual that is not well, that is dissatisfied or unbalanced, and of the details they share when I look into their pasts. I always reach the same conclusion and keep asking myself the same question I have been pondering for many years: Is the origin of eating disorders connected to the mother? And yet, now I answer my own question: Which disease is not? This is why I am going to explore the conclusions I have reached after many years observing thousands of people and working with them on their pasts and their relationships  in several articles.

Still, for now I just want to leave a short, yet encouraging message: even when guilt about feeling pleasure and the fear of love create a disastrous cocktail in the life of any individual and result in an endless string of diseases in human beings, each human body has its own intelligence, and each person has the ability to heal themself. A body that regains self-awareness and breaks free from guilt, cannot punish itself. A heart freed from fear of love and capable of feeling cannot destroy itself.

How can someone suffering from bulimia maintain such a disorder if they open up to love without fear and break free from feeling guilty about pleasure?

All healing processes require vital energy, obtained through an adequate diet, by breathing deeply and feeling life itself, by surrendering to pleasure and love, and to the emotional nourishment of sincere and loving relationships. But, above all, by the purity of the effort to discover and understand what happened and why. Sincerity and profoundness are vital in any healing process.

In many cases, where I have seen people healed from eating disorders such as bulimia, I confirmed that opening up to life, to existence and to enjoyment are the clearest signs of the disease being cured from its root.

During the healing process, we propose conducting systemic therapies to investigate past relationships, heal conflicts with either the mother or the father, and we offer the use of entheogens with psycho-therapeutic and medical support. We have a professional team that can support you.

Eating disorders affect millions of people and in many more ways than we can imagine. Bulimia is one of them. We will continue dealing with this topic and this particular vision, neither scientific nor the best, neither the last nor definitive. It is just my perspective on the matter. I hope it can help people suffering from this disorder.

Alberto José Varela

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