Cheryl Fuller is continuing a thought-provoking discussion of the social and psychological dimensions of obesity. In her most recent post, she shares her thoughts on the difficult question of how we think about fat as a symptom.
To cast or project blame is to protect ourselves from our own shadow. We stand in the place of righteousness, and fail to acknowledge those aspects of ourselves hidden in our own shadow. The scapegoating of another person or group allows us to feel guiltless, atoned. It inoculates us against blame. Now unburdened, we can turn to our ego ideal and reestablish our place among the chosen. We are then free to place goodness in one corner (ours) and malevolence in another. Only when we catch ourselves stepping into a righteous, one-sided stance are we in a position to begin to observe our own shadow. This is a very painful thing to do. Why would we do this? Because what we keep in the shadows, in a place of forgetfulness, turns to symptom. A symptom is an untended memory. It is the voice of a forgotten or banished part of ourselves… Memory is the medicine of the psyche - even, and especially when the memories are dark.