The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate, contrived and dishonest-but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
John F. Kennedy
As I look at the news these days, I wonder often what is true and what is myth. I don’t like to call what I hear as I turn on the TV or search the internet out and out lies (although some may be), but I fear a lot of what I am hearing is just not the whole truth. So, what is a myth? Merriam-Webster defines myth as an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true. As I look at my day to day life as I walk this road to recovery from disordered eating, I decided to look at some of the myths I am holding onto and to see if I couldn’t turn those thoughts around with some much needed truth. Here is what I came up with.
Myth 1 – Try to avoid pain at any cost. My family of origin did not deal well with painful situations and seemed to always run from them. If they couldn’t be run from, then we would sweep them under the rug. Our lives were about appearances, not what was really happening. I learned to run and hide from pain by hiding out in excess food.
Myth 2 – Excess food would take away the pain. I wonder why I have ever believed this because it is so untrue. But believe it I did (and sometimes even now want to believe it). Stuffing my feelings always leads me to self-disgust and anger that I just didn’t deal with the problem at hand when I needed to deal with it. When I run to food to deal with pain I still have the weight of the original problem and the problem of added weight.
Myth 3 – If I get thin, everything will be fine. This is true insanity. I would be the same person at my core no matter what I weigh. My family would be the same. If I feel unloved or unaccepted at my current weight, then those who make me feel that way wouldn’t be worth knowing if I were at a thinner weight.
I am currently working through Barb Raveling’s book Taste for Truth with a small group of wonderful ladies. What I really like about Barb’s book is that she doesn’t just ask us to read the Bible, but asks what the Word says about certain issues. Thinking about these myths, I searched God’s Word for the truth. If I am dealing with a painful situation, instead of running away or sweeping it under the carpet, I can cast my care upon Him, because He cares about me (2 Peter 1:7). Instead of stuffing my feelings, I can go to Him because His divine power has given me everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called me by His own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). Instead of focusing on my issue, I can do what His word tells me and think on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable so that the God of peace will be with me (Philippians 4:8-9). And, when it comes to seeking what the world calls a perfect body, doesn’t the Word tell me to have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths? To rather train myself in godliness for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it hold promise for the present life and for the life to come (1 Timothy 4:7-8)?
What about you dear reader? Are there some myths you need to face and replace with some good and sound Biblical truth? There is healing to be found in God’s Word.