Do you sometimes have cravings you can’t explain, yet feel pulled to give in to? Do you then feel defeated and out of control? What if your cravings are an invitation to come home to yourself?
Your cravings as an unexpected invite
When we have a craving and notice we aren’t hungry, it’s really not about the thing we crave. It is an invitation to explore and find out what it is we feel we do not already have: connection, companionship, love, acceptance, choice, freedom, and so on.
When we “give in” to a craving without exploring first, we may miss an opportunity to have what it is we truly desire. And the only person who can give that to us is ourselves! We can’t receive a gift from someone else we have not already given to ourselves.
We have such an opportunity for healing our relationship with ourselves when we experience a craving. However, we often miss it because we believe the thought that what we need in that moment is chocolate or ice cream or chips or cookies or fries.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these foods so the choice is not about what we should or should not do. In fact, eating what you crave can be a beautiful thing. It feels good. But also remember that when we get stuck in the ”should-ing,” we miss the opportunity to connect with ourselves on a deeper level, to come home to ourselves, which is really what the deep longing is about.
An invitation to come home to yourself
That deep longing is a part of ourselves inviting us home to our center, where love resides, where we are already whole and perfect. It is calling us to shed our false beliefs about who we think we are supposed to be, so we can be courageous enough to be the expression of life that only we can be.
It’s perfectly acceptable to say, “No thanks” to the invitation. And when you feel ready to explore beyond the craving, when you feel ready to connect on a deeper level with yourself, you might revisit that invitation. It is always there, ready for you.
As Byron Katie says, “When you realize that suffering and discomfort are the call to inquiry and to the freedom that follows, you may actually begin to look forward to uncomfortable feelings. You may even experience them as friends coming to show you what you have not yet investigated thoroughly enough.”
Opening the invitation
So, what does the exploring or inquiry look like? It begins with noticing the craving before acting on it. For example, when I crave, I notice. I get curious.
Where in my body do I feel it? For me, it tends to move, but often it is in my solar plexus, which is our power center, or in my heart center. It feels tight, it feels like grasping, like I won’t be ok if I don’t have what I crave.
This takes practice, so allow yourself time to become aware.
These questions will help you explore your cravings:
- What does this craving feel like?
- Where is it in my body?
- What might it say if it had a voice?
- What is it asking for?
- What was I thinking and believing right before I noticed the craving?
- Does that give me a clue of what it is that I really desire?
- How might I give that to myself?
- Where am I not connected, compassionate, accepting, choosing, or free within myself?
- Where am I expecting others to give these things to me?
- Am I expecting them to give them to me when I am not yet able to give them to myself?
- How might I find support in learning to give these things to myself?
Every craving is an opportunity to heal the relationship we have with ourselves. Even giving in to the craving gives us a beautiful opportunity to have compassion, understanding, love, and acceptance for our own self.
How blessed that our challenges with food showed up to offer such an amazing invitation!
This article has been updated from a previously published version.
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:
Cravings 101: What causes them and what to do
Duck your cravings with mindfulness
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