There’s this episode of Absolutely Fabulous in Season 4- the Detox episode- where the girls are on a girls night out. Actually every night is a girls night out because no one has a man.
The talk around the table turns to what each is attached to.
Magazine Girl to Katy Grin: Everyone has their crutches, their security blanket. Being mean is yours.
Edina: I haven’t got one.
All the girls laugh.
Katy: You’re fat. Surely you can see that, we certainly can’t miss it!
Katy: What’s yours Patsy? … It’s obvious…the 60’s forelock. Put it back- let’s see what you look like under there. At least you can pin your fringe back whereas you [she turns to Edina]…you can’t pin your fat back.
Eddy has an epiphany and decides to reinvent herself as a luggage less version of herself. Her fat is her excess baggage. She embarks on a detox (“nobody diets these days, Darling”) with the aim that in three weeks time she wants to be on the cusp of organ failure, an x-ray with a pulse. Eddy has always had healthy goals…not!
Eddy for all her “out there” behaviour and spotlight hogging, swallows her real feelings and accumulates things around her to guard against tomorrow. When Pats says “your stomach is like a dog that doesn’t know when it is going to be fed next and just hangs around until you want to kick it,” she is talking about a reluctance to trust that abundance will continue. (Patsy, on the other hand, hasn’t eaten since 1974.)
So I wondered, when we are overweight, what are we really attached to?
Our attachments don’t necessarily need to be materialistic. It can be anything that makes us feel safe, anything that makes us feel secure. I can totally identify with Eddie’s fat as security- those extra layers can definitely provide protection- they stop people from seeing the person under the layers, in a way they provide protection from temptation or exposure. We carry it around with us every day. It weighs us down, but we can’t seem to leave it behind.
I attach emotionally. Not to things, but to feelings. When it’s good or exciting I want to write it in the sky so I never forget what the feelings like. It’s like when I take a photo, I’m not just capturing a scene, but clicking the shutter is also photographing the feeling.
We can be attached to feelings, to goods, to a hair style, to the past. We can be attached to the way things are, the way things were or the way that we think they might be. We can be attached to a dream, a hope, or a vision. We can be attached to a lost love, the idea of love, the fantasy of a love. Not everything that we hang onto is, by definition, good. How many people do you know of in unhealthy relationships (for whatever reason) who seem attached to the pain? How many people do you know who will listen to great and well meaning advice and then fill the conversation with excuses and road-blocks? I’ll put my hand firmly up in the air for that one too.
Getting rid of what we are attached to can be scary. It removes an excuse we may be using for moving forward. Holding onto that clutter or baggage (whether it is physical or metaphorical) can weigh you down- literally and symbolically. It’s there in the friend who insists on closure from her poisonous ex before saying “yes” to the fantastic guy standing in front of her. It’s there when we hold onto a job long past its use by date because the current one- for all its faults- makes us feel safe. It’s there when we stay in a relationship that no longer fits us because “better the devil you know”.
To let go leaves you exposed and vulnerable. But maybe if we travelled lighter, we would travel lighter.
It’s a little like the concept of Spring cleaning- for your life rather than your closet. Apply the same rules.
I’m doing that now. It started the other week when I needed to find some gloves and before I knew it I had emptied my wardrobe. And felt lighter immediately.
Astrologically, when we look to attachment we look to wherever Taurus is in the chart. Taurus is the energy of storage, of hanging on. We also, look to the Moon- especially if it is in a water sign (Pisces, Cancer or Scorpio) or Taurus. And then we ask ourselves- do we really need this?
Anyways, back to Eddy. After three weeks on detox without so much as a sniff of alcohol, she has lost some weight and is feeling chuffed with herself. The same group of girls gather in the same restaurant, but this time they are discussing Sex and the City.
“I’ll be Sarah Jessica Parker,” volunteers Eddy
The others laugh, and Katy says, “you’re still too fat!”
The others don’t notice Eddy’s weight loss. That particular baggage was more important to her than it was to anyone else- as all good baggage usually is.