Everything Touches Everything.
This story is about an eating disorder, but it’s not about eating disorders. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.
If there is a tree in the forest expressing symptoms of disease and illness, these symptoms are merely the starting point for the underlying health of a whole ecosystem. We wouldn’t isolate that tree and dissect it looking for the roots of its illness without simultaneously turning towards the soil, the trees around it, the water, the many other organisms and elements coexisting alongside it,
so then why do we do this with people?
In a workshop I attended with Bree Greenberg, founder of the Vermont Center for Integrative Therapy, a Marriage and Family Therapist whose dedicated over twenty years to working with eating disorder patterns, she said:
“It is patently wrong to send a 14-year old to treatment without attending to what’s happening in the family lineage. You are actually creating an identified patient and a life-long pattern of victimization and triangulation right at that moment. When we do that, we’re responsible for the harm and we’re not being responsible for the healing; and until we’re being responsible, the buck will be passed to the patient, to the family that was non-cooperative, to the practitioners. And I call bullshit.”
My introduction to liberation work began here with eating disorders, but if I let it stop here, with me, with this one expression of dis-ease, I’m missing the forest for the trees. Everything touches everything.
“It's not just in one body or one person. We want it to be. God do we want it to be! Because if it was just in one body, or even a few hundred bodies, maybe even a few thousand bodies then we could draw a line, put them on that side, we could be on this side, they could be wrong and we could be drumroll….right!” -excerpt from Playing The Game
Eating disorders are a symptom, they point to the body and say, "something hurts." But they symptoms are not the dis-ease itself, they are an expression of dis-ease are an expression of root health, that yes live in a body, but that body is an expression of the root, of the land, the culture, the family, the lineage, that we are all responsible for and living inside of together. We can’t heal until we begin to be honest about the health of our collective roots. Everything touches everything. And what lives at the root? Control. How we leverage our belonging over one another to maintain an illusion of control and separateness. 'Cause if it’s not happening to me, to my body, to my people then I’m okay, right? It’s their problem, right?
Everything touches everything.