The Root of all Root Needs–Why Food Alone will Never Satisfy

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After going through the painful, yet eye-opening of understanding your Root Needs—your conscious and subconscious eating motivations—you may be asking: “now what?” Now since you’ve discovered the real issue driving your eating behaviour, how do you deal with it?
Since you now know what the Root Need is, your job is to remove the lies that are poisoning it, to find the proper truths that will nourish and satiate it instead.
In this post, I will share a three-step process on how to correctly respond to Immediate Needs and Ongoing Needs, followed by a quick word on some big issues.

Three Steps to Deal with Immediate and Ongoing Root Needs

1. Feel your Feelings

-For the Immediate Root Need:
We “eat” our feelings. We bury them. We “busy” ourselves with work and school and family to the point of going numb, because that keeps us safe, and then we don’t have to deal with the real problem. But it’s also extremely harmful, and it manifests itself in other ways—in this case, through food. So let yourself feel. This is what it means to be tired. This is what it means to be sad. And that’s okay. In our day and age, we’ve become so efficient, so determined and successful that we’ve lost touch with our own bodies and and feelings, to the point that we often don’t even acknowledge or recognize what’s really going on. So open the door and allow yourself to feel. It’s the only way to let yourself heal.

-For the Ongoing Root Need:
Have you ever admitted to yourself that you’re feeling alone in the world? Or that you think you’re a failure? These things are by no means true, but they exist in our minds, and they must be dealt with in order to replace these lies or fears with a positive outlook and healthy attitude. Often, especially in times of trauma or stress, it’s easiest to shut out our feelings so that we don’t have to deal with the pain. But that won’t make it go away. Ignoring the pain will just bury it deeper until it flares up like a volcano and burns us later. It must be released. But in order to release it, you must allow yourself to feel it.

2. Acknowledge The Influence Your Root Need Has Over You
-For the Immediate Root Need: It’s okay to acknowledge the fact that lack of sleep is making you feel crazy. Or that that argument you had with your spouse has left you wired and ready to kill something. We’re not robots, we’re humans, and when something happens to us, we feel it. Admitting you feel edgy or distressed or exhausted doesn’t make you weak, it makes you honest. And it’s only once you admit weakness that you can find strength.

-For the Ongoing Root Need:
Our experiences and relationships are part of what shape us, but they don’t have to define us. Choices in your life, circumstances that have shaken you, words that are ever lodged in your mind—these are things that will take a toll on you, that will affect everything, from your state of mind to your eating habits. And so you must follow the trail of loneliness, of self-hate, of desire for success, whatever it may be. Study it, try to understand how it is affecting you and why. Why do you feel this way? Did it start from a specific situation or relationship? What are the effects? Acknowledging the power your root need wields over you will help you to realize that ultimately you have the power. You do not have to be defined by your feelings or your circumstances.

3. Take Action to Restore the Root Need
-For the Immediate Root Need:
Whether that means taking a nap, taking a break, or calling a friend, do what you have to do to restore tranquility to your mind. You may have to adjust your schedule or re-prioritize. If you are in duress from a stressful situation, maybe it’s best to take a few minutes to relax. Talk to someone. Whereas before you may have turned to the chip bowl, now you know what the real problem is. What you need is peace of mind, not another piece of cake. Give your body what it’s really craving. It’ll thank you for it.

-For the Ongoing Root Need:
This is where you must face your demons. Go back to that person, confront them about what they said years ago. Address the abuse you suffered as a child. Repair the damaged relationship that has haunted you for decades. Forgiveness is essential, but that doesn’t mean condoning the action. It means freeing yourself from the prison of bitterness and hate, allowing yourself to find peace and resolution. The scope of this topic is too broad for this blog, let alone this post, but it is absolutely vital. Many books touch on it, but despite the amount of literature on the topic, there is still no precise step-by-step process that will make it perfect. It’s difficult, it’s messy, and it hurts. Sometimes it’s best to talk to a friend, or even a trained professional. Acknowledging this may be too difficult for you to tackle on your own can be scary, but it’s a huge step towards freedom. And though it may take time, you will get there.

What To Do Next

Congratulations—you have successfully completed the process to exposing and eliminating the lies that block your Root Need. But now comes the big question. How do you fill the Root Need? How do you find acceptance, success, approval, or whatever it is you’re searching for? Food will never fill the hole or quench the desire. So what will?
The answer is to stop looking outside of yourself, to other people, to food, to your circumstances to fulfil you, and start looking in. However, even more important than looking in, is looking up.

The Root of All Root Needs:
I believe that at the root of all Root Needs is the greatest need of all, something which every human craves and desires—the wish to be loved, to be fully and unconditionally cherished, to be special, to be understood. But human relationships can never provide this. If you look to your significant other for ultimate satisfaction, they will always let you down. You may love each other, but human love—even deep, powerful human love—is never enough. I believe this is an in-built characteristic of humanity, that despite the amount of money, success, relationships, or luxuries people attain, they will still feel empty inside.

Just look at Hollywood. Actor/comedian Jim Carey said “I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer.” Everything in this world, good as it is, is ultimately empty. So what will truly satisfy us if nothing in the world will?

God. That’s my answer for you. You may not agree with it, and I’m not asking you to. I’m simply asking you to acknowledge it as a possibility, as so many other people, myself included, have found it to be true. But this is not just any God. This is the God who created humanity so that he could be in fellowship with us, so he could show us his love. The God who loved us so much he sent his Son to die so that we would not have to die, so that we could give our lives to him and live with him forever. And while we are on this earth, we can find happiness and un-surpassing pleasure in him, the God who wants to be in a personal relationship with us, who wants to call us his children so that he can bestow his joy and freedom upon us, despite the circumstances, in spite of pain and the troubles of life. We can be joyful. We can be free. This is the God who fills the hole in our hearts like nothing else in the world can.

So keep in mind, that while it is important to deal with Immediate Root Needs and Ongoing Root Needs, it will only lead you so far. It will reveal what you are seeking in the depths of your heart, but it won’t necessarily show you how to fill that void. You may realize you want love—real, unconditional love—but after coming to that conclusion, how do you progress forwards? What do you do next? The answer is not in food. The idea of Root Needs opens a whole new channel of questions. So I close this post and Phase I of the Feel-Good System with a challenge. Everyone needs to find something to fill that void in their life. And food’s not it. So now you must decide.
What is it?

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