Fasting: Day 21 – Emotional Healing

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

One large, sweet cantaloupe juiced with two tablespoons of frozen concentrated orange juice; three glasses of veggie juice with a large broccoli stalk added; one glass of Welsh’s grape juice. When anticipating a busy day I will add either orange or pineapple frozen concentrate to my fruit juice, ramping up the calories;  also an effective trick to liven up the juice from bland, tired fruit. 

Speaking of bland and tired, as hard as yesterday was, today began with peace and wellbeing. Over the last 20 years of fasting it has been my experience that a down day always follows an up day—this applies to both body and spirit. I have no more energy today than yesterday, yet I feel entirely different. For one, improved mental clarity, which was exhibited during this morning editing the mess I wrote yesterday. A friend suggested, too late, that I leave it unedited as a demonstration of how foggy the brain can be during detoxification. But the physical side of detoxification was the least of yesterday’s ordeal. 

Spiritual Side

Even though I have gone through spiritual detoxification many times during fasting, the memory of the experience still remains somewhat muddled and ambiguous. Why does fasting stir up deep negative feelings of fear? And why is there always a feeling of emotional healing the next day? The problem in gaining understanding is while you are suffering spiritual detox, there is a dramatic loss of objectivity. It took every ounce of will to even write anything down at all yesterday. Everything I wrote felt meaningless. Writing by its very nature is an attempt to objectify what is going on inside, the very action of writing helped me step back and gain some understanding. 

Here are some thoughts. In a normal non-fasting state, when buried childhood fears and insecurities peek through into the consciousness, we have learned ways of escaping the unpleasant feelings. The easiest and most socially accepted way is food; of course there is alcohol, and for some, drugs. We are not even aware we are doing it; it’s an involuntary reaction, like jerking your hand away from a hot stove. That’s why so many people are perplexed at why they cannot lose weight. An insecure feeling arises, often at night before bed, and we snack the feeling away. But during fasting there is no escape. The props have been removed, patterns have been disrupted and carrot juice won’t cut it. All you have left is your faith—if your faith is bankrupt—then you will be in trouble. 

During fasting we come face to face with unhealed wounds from the past with no escape, which is followed by discovering the fragility of our own faith. Painfu,l but healthy.

So that explains yesterday, but what about today? Why does an up day always come after a down day? I love this quote from Frank Herbert’s book, Dune: “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” During fasting childhood fears and insecurities come and there is no escape, no soft praise music, and no stirring message to prop up a failing faith. You are naked and alone—and you survive. You’re ok. The next day you awake to a new day. 

When we run from fears they become bigger, more impossible to face. When faced, they are exposed for what they are—lies. Have you ever seen someone just after overcoming the fear of heights? They climb out of the roller-coaster, wearing shear exhilaration all over their face. I DID IT!!! At that moment, they could conquer the world. I've seen that on people’s faces after completing a fast. We are more than conquers; most of us don’t know it.

Next Article: Fasting: Day 22 – Weight loss

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