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When Life Isn’t Fair

Image by Debbie Digioia
When life isn’t fair, many emotional eaters get wildly upset and turn to food to comfort themselves, though they may not realize what exactly is triggering their mindless eating at the time. If life’s unfairness is a major irritant in your life, you may feel differently about the subject after reading this blog. Moreover, you may find that justice not prevailing bothers you so little that you no longer turn to food when life seems to misfire.
Let’s start with a basic question: What ever made you think that life should be or is fair? Did your parents complain about life not being fair which made you think that it ought to be? Were you schooled in the thinking that if we all work hard enough at it that justice will prevail? Were you taught that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people? More importantly, does your life experience tell you this is true?
If you start with the belief that life should always be fair and that, if you work hard enough to make it so, it will be or that if it’s not fair, it’s your fault, you are setting yourself up for a world of disappointment and frustration. In fact, life is not fair or just. Some people are born privileged by their gender, religion, or the color of their skin. Some folks are born wealthy or with exceptional smarts or talent or beauty. Some folks are born into poverty, abuse or neglect or in countries that are war torn or plagued by famine or war. Throw in fortunate or unfortunate genetics and I hope we can put to rest the fantasy that we all start out on a level playing field.
If you believe that life should be fair, then you will feel angry, disappointed or frustrated whenever it isn’t, which is a good deal of the time. You’ll be unaware of the times it’s been unfair to others and fair in your favor, such as when you don’t hit a red light the whole drive home from work, but will feel its sting of injustice when you hit every red light when you’re already late for dinner. You may always make note of what lucky breaks others get and obsess over the unlucky ones that come your way. You may overcompensate in myriad ways to make life turn out better, yet only succeed in making yourself more miserable. Moreover, you may believe that your reward for enduring unfairness is to eat lots of whatever you darned please.
Alternately, if you accept that life is from from fair, you’ll rarely think about who gets what and whether you’re one of the lucky ones or not. You’ll focus on how you can make life better for yourself and others, but not necessarily fairer. Bulletin: Fairness is out of your hands, but better is entirely within your power. Make it okay that life isn’t fair. More than that, make it fair that life isn’t fair and you’ll be less driven to eat mindlessly.