A few years ago I switched to a gluten and dairy free diet to support myself in a changing rhythm that the body was asking for. At the time it was done with no looking back. Although it was very clear that my body has requested this change, the way in which it was done was not fully loving.
Firstly, this further refinement of my daily rhythm although initiated from an impulse of self-love and self-care, nonetheless, initially it still carried a desire to better myself, that is, to have a cleaner body and life for my own good and enjoyment. This desire in turn blinded me in how this choice would have affected everyone around me.
Rewinding back to two years ago, my choice of a cleaner diet has resulted in not being able to eat the same meals with my child, when we used to share meals together. We started eating different foods and because every meal I had to cook separately for the both of us, we ended up eating at different times altogether. I would love to have him try the foods I made for myself, but he flatly refused, and not wishing to impose further, I had stopped asking. He would repeatedly offer me a taste of what he loved to eat also, but because I could not eat those foods anymore, similarly I had to refuse.
In the beginning I would only cook foods I could eat and serve it to the both of us, however, immediately feeling into this, I know this would not work with my child. I could feel he was old enough to choose for himself and he was asking to choose. Yet although I said I would let him choose, I was not living this all the time. I would still from time to time tell him that the foods I am choosing are better than his, which is still immensely imposing. And of course, he can feel all of this.
Therefore, his response to my unloving ways (although the intention was of nothing but love for him) was one of great resistance to anything that I cook, as well as to the act of eating together. The reason to my son’s resistance has completely eluded me until just recently, because I was still holding onto feeling hurt that we were not eating together anymore. All of a sudden, I realised he must have felt so rejected when his mother suddenly decided to not eat the same foods with him anymore, and therefore, choosing to have nothing to do with the foods I cook, is his way of hurting me back. Without blaming him or feeling hurt, I asked him about it. And without any defenses, he simply acknowledged that it was true.
For two years, we were being separative with each other when being together was all we had wished. When I felt that not having family meals together simply does not cut it anymore, no longer because of holding onto hurts, but because it just felt too disharmonious to the harmony I am now feeling within my body, I was committed to bringing family meals back to our household through a livingness of love. Although we were still having different foods, we began consistently sharing precious time together during meals.
Last night, we decided to step up the love. Knowing my son loves cake (and his constant reminder to me that we have made a mango cake together before), I asked if he wanted to make a strawberry and green apple tart that I was inspired by a post on FB that morning. I printed a picture of the cake as well as the recipe, for him to read as well as feel, to see if he would like to make it together. He knew the tart is gluten, dairy and sugar-free from reading the recipe, but there was no mention or emphasis on that fact. We were just going to make something together that both of us can enjoy.
My child said yes immediately. He was so amazing in the whole prepping and cooking process–cutting the green apples all on his own, slicing strawberries, helping out to blend the crust ingredients. While the tart was being set in the fridge, he even marinated chicken wings for his dinner that night, with his special concoction of herbs and spices.
Observing him in joy, I gradually relaxed in the midst of the little mess in the kitchen, letting go some more of the perfection I was holding onto how cooking has to be (another healing!) because what we are both experiencing is a re-imprinting of our family meals, now with love.
Finally we decorated the strawberry tart together and tasted it in sheer enjoyment. Although the tart was delicious–we both had a small slice and after that there was no wanting more, we were both very fulfilled from love.