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I've been the person, you know the one, who judges others based on what they eat, how they prepare their food, or what's in their kitchen. I've been the one who walks into someone's home, the center of their vulnerability, and made comments about what oil they cook with our whether or not they should use plastic wrap on their food.
At the time I felt justified. I felt that way because I thought I knew something important and they needed to know too. If I'm being totally honest I wanted to feel superior. Isn't that what judgement is, our desire to feel superior? But judgement always feels terrible on both sides. The judge and the judged walk away feeling yucky. Eventually I got tired of feeling yucky
Several years ago my friend said something that stuck with me. She had just returned from visiting family and was relating some of the stickiness she felt around sharing their food since they had different food ways from her.
She said, "Food is the religion of our time." Even as I write it, I'm struck by the truth of this. Think about how tolerant you feel toward your friends and family's religious views. Now, think about how tolerant you feel about eating with them, their way, exactly how they eat all the time.
Especially think about the person/family who you think eats the worst. I mean terrible. Their food is disgusting to you. How would you feel eating in their home, their way, say for a week?
I imagine you are terrified, abhorred, you may feel a lump in your throat, a feeling of panic may come over you. You may feel superior, self justified, or righteous. You may feel like you know the truth and they are ignorant fools.
Want to know how I feel free from this yuckiness?
Here's what I think about. When I walk into someone's home, their kitchen especially, is the place where they nourish themselves. The thing about being human is that we require sustenance. Its essential to our living in bodies. And those bodies require food to live.
So when I walk into someone's kitchen I walk into the hearth or heart of their self nourishment. I don't know about you, but my relationship with self nourishment is fraught. I'm often teetering between emotional eating and total self neglect. I sway between thinking my food will kill me and shoving food in my face to prevent myself from facing the truth of my self created reality.
I don't think I'm unique here. In fact I think I'm pretty normal. Your's may not be binge eating. You may starve yourself when you are avoiding life. It doesn't really matter. Its the same thing.
And when I choose to focus on my friend's choice of cooking oil or her use of plastic wrap I'm missing her. I'm missing her entirely. Because just like me she is human. Requiring nourishment to exist as a human in this world. And whatever feelings she may have about self care, self love, life, and hope are all there, residing in her kitchen with her. How silly would it be for me to look at her oil and think that's what's important here?
Its an illusion that oil is important. Its all a distraction. A big shiny illusion that we've given a lot of importance to. When I'm standing in the midst of my friend's self love, self care, self nourishment, heart/hearth I am in a position to connect with her as a human, a light, a soul that matters. To feel less alone. To be WITH her in that place is precious, tender and beautiful.
And if I choose to be distracted by things like oil and plastic wrap, then I deserve the yucky feelings.
BUT if I choose to be with and nurture my friend, THEN connection, freedom, and hope are mine.
And they can be yours too.
May we focus on what is REAL and feel free and happy in our own hearth and in the hearths of others.
Welcome! I'm Janelle. This is a place of inspiration about real everyday food life. I want to know how I can serve you!
Connect with me on Instagram @lucidolight or on twitter @ourdailykraut or find me on Facebook! Janelle Allyn Lucido Conate