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Armed With Food

By Sumitra Judith Burton.  

The words “armed with food….” flashed through my awareness while I was swimming a few days ago. I was astonished to hear these words (and immediately feel the connection in my belly).

When I sat later with my notebook, so I could write things down, and looked for the end of that sentence, I heard, Armed with food … I can face my life, can feel safely supported (I don’t need other people, money, or other things to support me). I’m then self-supporting/ self-sufficient; well, as long as I have food! But actually then I’m “food-supported,” “food-sustained.”

Continuing with the inquiry, I asked, “So how does food support me in terms of creating safety?” The answer arose: Food supports me by giving me a sense of assurance (the full belly sensation).

So I sat with the sensation in my belly and asked, “Is that sensation assurance?” Yes, it feels like the full belly sensation is actually assurance.

Next I asked, “Is there a danger or threat in not having a full belly?” Yes, I’m starving for assurance!”

This last response took me back to my failed marriage, years ago. There I found a sense of No matter what I do, I’m going to lose my marriage, and I have no assurance that anything else will work either. I had tried every possible way I could imagine to save my marriage and it still failed. A happy marriage and family were the most important things to me in early adulthood. I sensed that there was something deeply deficient in me.

Feeling into this “deficient me,” it became clear that I wanted desperately to have confidence, to be “armed with assurance” that I could be okay in every situation life would bring, that I would be able to handle whatever would come my way. I wanted a firm identity that was confident and capable and knew for certain that she would be fine.

As I allowed this desperate wanting to be felt, I was reminded of a sense of stillness deep down inside myself, and spent some time resting in that deep stillness. Lo and behold, the whole sense of “me” seemed to dissolve there, in that stillness, along with the need for assurance.

I realized this stillness to be my true nature, in a way, and that it was my only experience so far in life that offered a real sense of assurance. Such irony, I almost laughed – finding assurance mandates that I let go of “me” altogether!

I felt invited to keep exploring this sense of stillness, and see if I really needed to be armed with food, or anything else besides that inner stillness.