How do we forget the truest things? And what might we do to bring ourselves back?
I should have phoned a friend today in my moment of crisis. Anne Lamott says she calls Bonnie, and I realize now I should have called Janna who is sitting on the beach in Florida, or Ashley who has a break from her kids today.
An hour after lunch today, I wanted to eat a snack because I was still hungry and because I knew I'd want energy for a mid-afternoon run later. Often when I go upstairs to read or write around 1:30 during Sailor's nap, I drink a sparkling water and eat a granola bar or roasted chickpeas. Today, though, I wanted something different. I wanted a Greek yogurt with honey.
I have never had a Greek yogurt with honey and would never have thought to buy, or even look for, such a snack. But my friend Kristy told me recently that it's her favorite product at Trader Joe's. So I bought a couple cups last time I was there. Why? To give to her as a surprise, perhaps, or maybe to have myself.
It's the "maybe" part that's problematic. The minute I started to consider something new, different, out of routine, especially a rich snack made with cow's milk, was the minute my mind started to not know what to do.
Annie knows what I'm talking about:
I was stuck in the "trying to figure it out" part, which is why I should have called a friend. I should have asked somebody outside myself to remind me that it's okay to eat yogurt. I should have told them to tell me again that eating a cow's milk product won't immediately translate to feeling bad, no matter how much "research" I've read on the matter in years past. I needed to be encouraged to listen to my body and not my mind for a change. I needed a voice of kindness and reason to break the spell in that moment.
I don't know why, but I didn't even think of making the call. I just debated inside myself for a few minutes about what to eat, and then chose the safe route, the thing I thought I wouldn't regret. As soon as I started eating the chickpeas and drinking the sparkling water, I knew that I wanted a different Ginger to emerge from the rubble of my mind next time.
I believe today I get full credit simply for my awareness of the deeper desires in me, the desires to live freely, and the remembrance, even after the fact, that of all God's promises, a land flowing with "milk and honey" was one of the first and most repeated.
Back in December, on two separate occasions over dinner conversations, two of my close friends' husbands said things that made an impact on me. One person tossed out the notion of a book being written that says it doesn't matter which way we eat. If a book said that, would I believe it? Could I take that to heart? The other person said he thinks it's 80% genetics, which is to say what we eat doesn't matter nearly as much as we think it does.
And yet, I couldn't eat the yogurt. I wanted to, but I was stuck. So next time, the phone call...and prayer.
Next time, with friends and prayer to bear me up, I hope I will be courageous enough to enjoy a gift that also brings with it a little surprise and uncertainty, far beyond what the actual milk and honey have to offer, a richness that can only be called grace.