Could That Craving Be A Friend In Disguise?

The dreaded craving.                                                                                                                    sundae

Sometimes it’s a nagging whisper that you NEED a Blizzard. Sometimes, a demanding tyrant ordering you to drive through that drive-thru, or else!

Cravings feel like a powerfully intimidating voice from within.

But have you ever wondered if that forceful pull might mean something?

If it had a language what might it say?

What is it really asking for?

And what if you listened and then gave that to yourself?

What if the craving is your deepest-you knocking on your own heart’s door?

Could it be your own curious mind asking you to add something new and interesting to your life? Or maybe your amazing body letting you know she’s hungry for a new challenge or adventure.

Sometimes a rut can feel a lot like a craving.

We already know cravings aren’t really about the food. It certainly feels like it’s about the food – the sweet Bluebell, the salty Ruffles, the warm macaroni and cheese – but when we’re craving something to eat and our body is not in need of fuel, it has to be about something else – something other than fuel.

Pleasure perhaps? That’s a reasonable possibility – but what kind of pleasure exactly? My guess is that food is often a quick and easy counterfeit for the pleasure our minds or souls or bodies really crave. We are, after all, made for rich, full, whole-hearted living. Everything in us longs to create, to discover, to commune, to cultivate, to keep learning and growing – but our habitually busy schedules and noisy screen-filled lives can drown out our deepest desires. Drown out perhaps – but never drown.

Our deepest desires continue to call to us.

So here’s the compelling invitation before us. Next time you have a craving, instead of silencing the screaming child in your brain with Kettle chips, sit with her a moment – and lovingly listen. Meander down the road of your mind and look around, like an eager hiker on a new path – curious and alert.

Ask yourself some searching questions. What is this craving really about? Is there a craving behind the craving? Genuine heart connection? Engaged companionship? A new and interesting pursuit? Some good ol’ fun? Grief unexpressed? Could your bright mind be hungry to tackle some new venture? Or your soul thirsty for quiet reverence?

Perhaps my persistent cravings are really my deepest self yelling “Hey, if you aren’t gonna do anything stimulating you could at least get me an ice cream sundae. I’m dying of boredom in here! ”

So here’s an exciting invitation next time a craving comes beating on our door:

Stop a moment.
Create some room for silence.
Put your ear down close to yourself.
Just listen.

Become a curious and open explorer of your own inner life. This might feel weird at first – even scary. And you may not hear a thing the first go’round, but even if nothing specific surfaces I bet your deep self will appreciate your kind time and attention.

When we give into a craving without exploring first, we may be missing an opportunity to give ourselves what we truly desire.

This is rich work – work that dieting never ever invited us into. We might discover that our cravings have profound meaning after all. What if these cravings you’ve hated and battled for so long turn out to be a friend – nothing short of the beginning of you knowing and loving yourself like you never have before?

Now wouldn’t that be amazing…