Imagine yourself in a lush, green park. The grass is perfectly soft and dry. The sun outside is bright, but a light breeze keeps you from getting too warm. You sit in the grass and start thinking.
First, you think about bingeing. You think about that feeling and feel it deep in your chest. That compulsion feels heavy and black and you gather it into your hands, squishing it into a ball.
Then, you scan your body for pain. Anything that hurts and anything that even twinges starts migrating to your chest as well. A black lump of pain congregates near your heart, but you gather it into your hands and add it to the ball you have, smoothing it and compacting it like a black snowball.
Then you think about all the emotional pain you are dealing with right now. Anything that has hurt your feelings in the last few hours or days or even weeks or years, let it come to your chest. Let it gather like another lump of blackness. Remove it from your chest and add it to the ball in your hands, ever smoothing it with your fingertips.
Finally, think about all the pain around you. Loved ones who are in pain. Those who have harmed you. Anything external to you that is affecting you negatively is attracted to the ball in your hands. You can feel it getting quite big from all the pain that is within you and without you.
In your hands, work that ball. Push upon it with your hands, making it more compact and smaller. It is still rather heavy, but you have finally gotten it to the size of an eight ball on a pool table. Shiny, black and firm, you keep compressing this ball until you are unable to make it any smaller.
As you run your hands along the black smoothness, you look up to see an eager puppy in front of you. You realize this puppy is your spiritual guide and she misses you so much. She hasn’t seen you since the last time you tried meditating and she is overjoyed to be with you again. She eyes the black ball of your pain and you know that she wants to play fetch.
You throw the ball as far as you can. The weight of it makes a thump on the soft grass, far down the field and the puppy races to get it. She grabs the ball and brings it back to you, dropping it at your feet. When you pick it up, you can feel that it is smaller, lighter and softer than it was before. The puppy is jumping at your hand, begging you to throw it again and you toss it away even further than before.
After many throws, the ball is a small and malleable lump in the puppy’s mouth, but she is tired of fetch. When you try to take the ball from her to throw it again, she dodges away from you. After a few chases, she lies on the grass just out of your reach, chewing on the ball. She keeps chewing until it dissolves into nothing.
Your pain is gone, cleansed by the love of your spiritual guide and the two of you can now walk along the grassy field of the park in the sunshine together, happy and content.
Original Photo via: Ian D. Keating at Flickr