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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

A War Over Food

Posted by Amanda Gray on November 30, 2011

Last night, I was reading page 143 of the text of A Course in Miracles.  It said:

If God’s Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will.  […]  You cannot exempt yourself from His laws, although you can disobey them.  Yet if you do, and only if you do, you will feel lonely and helpless, because you are denying yourself everything.  […]  My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.  […]  You must accept guidance from within.

I was reminded of an occasion a few years ago.  I was with my family at a Montana’s restaurant to celebrate a birthday.  I was enjoying a half rack of baby back ribs and was becoming full.  I lifted a rib from the plate, and as I considered whether I could handle another bite, a VERY clear voice in my head said, “No.”  My next thought was, “But, what happens if I do?”  Would I be struck down with a bolt of lightning?  It’s only a piece of meat and I’ve already eaten half of this rack, so what harm could there be?  I took another bite… and when nothing further happened, I finished the rib.  Huh.  Strange.  As I shortly tucked into some truly indulgent doughnuts for dessert, I put the incident out of my mind.

As I remembered it again, I realized that it was a case of ignoring guidance from within.  Yes, I can disobey.  It’s my decision to make.  I’m free to do so.  And, at the time, there appeared to be no negative consequences to it.  Yet, the invitation of guidance wasn’t extended to me again for a long time after that.  It was like a test.  Was I ready to follow higher wisdom yet?  No, apparently I wasn’t.  I was like Eve in the Garden.  My garden was Montana’s.  My apple was a luscious, meaty, sweet, baby back rib.  Oh, the temptation!  I realize today that when I choose against such direct and clear guidance, I also choose against my innocence.  The opposite of innocence is ‘knowledge’.  So I’m preferring to think that I know more than God knows.  Yet, it’s just a pretend kind of knowledge, an illusion of ego.

Just like every teenager begins to question authority as they begin to develop their egos, they also suddenly think they know everything.  They stretch the boundaries of right and wrong, good and bad.  “My Dad told me to do it this way, but what happens if I do it another way?  I can think of a hundred other ways to do it, so why shouldn’t I try something else?  Why is his way right, and my way wrong?”  And they quickly learn that they can do it another way and it usually works out fine.  Yet, there must be guilt in those decisions too.  We must choose to believe that the authority doesn’t have our best interests at heart, that they would guide us in a detrimental way.  We must create a division of right and wrong and vacillate as we attempt to decide which is which.  We must give up the innocence of our childhood.  And, as time goes on, we lose that childhood innocence more and more.  And, less and less, we trust the authorities around us.  And as we trust them less, we trust ourselves less.   And, if we’re really hard headed, like I have been, we keep trying to do everything by ourselves, to keep control of every detail, because we know how it should be done, and they don’t.  Ultimately, we trade innocence, freedom, peace, and joy for ‘knowledge’, guilt, indecision and anxiety.  Why would we continue to choose such pain, if the alternative is just to listen to and trust the authority of a greater wisdom?

What does it mean to “accept guidance from within”?  Well, today I understand that it’s not just some mental exercise of words, I have to actually be willing to DO what I’m told to do.  I have to trust the inner wisdom, even if my past experience tells me something different about it.  Do I want to keep repeating the past?  How far has that gotten me?


This morning, upon awakening, I started to consider some other food issues.  I realized that often, when my mom cooks food for me, I become bitchy and attack her.  I complain that she didn’t make the food I’d most prefer, or cook it the way I’d most like.  I can observe that I’m doing it, but, for some reason, I can’t seem to curb the negative habit.  This morning, I related the issue back to the time in my childhood when mom tried to switch me from baby food to solid food.  A battle of will ensued between us and she withheld the soft baby food, hoping that I would become hungry enough to eat the solid food.  I didn’t.  Eventually, I became malnourished and had to be hospitalized with a gastro-intestinal infection.  (I mentioned this in my last entry: I Am Content, I Am Tranquil.)

I saw the similarity between the two situations.  Just as my mom ‘withheld’ the food I preferred as a baby, I believe she’s ‘withholding’ the food I prefer now.  Even though I’ve tried to tell her what I like, she continues to make food to her own satisfaction, not to mine.  It’s become the same battle of wills.  As I become more frustrated, I become more bitchy.  And I’ve generated a gastritis condition in my stomach.  Yes, it’s the past repeating itself, exactly.

Then I realized that I’m not the only one complaining over the food.  My mom does it too.  If I cook for her, and she doesn’t give me step by step instructions for how she wants it, she complains about it in exactly the same way I complain about her food.  Often, if we go out to a new restaurant together, she’ll bitterly complaint about the food that’s offered.  I see her inner child come out, whining and crying, because the food is improperly cooked, or tastes bad.  And because she’s stuck in that childish state, she can’t make adult choices to reasonably address the situation – to send the food back, or whatever.  It also doesn’t escape notice, that she also has major stomach and digestion conditions.

Don’t get it twisted, this war is NOT over food.  No.  Food is only the symbol.  This war is over love.  For my mom, food has always been the way she’s expressed love to her family.  She’s been greatly blessed with a talent and joy of cooking that I acknowledge openly.  Yet, when I complain about her cooking, I’m telling her that I’m rejecting, directly, her gift of creation and, indirectly, her love.  I’m also confirming my own belief that I’m unworthy of her love.  If I allowed my mom the freedom to make whatever she choose to, and accepted her gift with total gratitude, we would both experience perfect peace and joy.  We would both be accepting God’s Will (what IS).  We make a mistake when we try to control one another.  We mistakenly put the importance on the FORM (food), instead of on the MEANING (love).  As we both make the error, we both need healing.

We suffered greatly over the food incident when I was a baby.  I don’t remember what I really felt at the time, of course, but I can safely assume that I felt rejected, unloved and abandoned.  My mom has told me that she felt guilt, regret and depression.  Why choose to repeat the past?  Why choose to continue to suffer?  No, it can end.  This morning I prayed and surrendered the error to the Holy Spirit and asked for a healing miracle.  Will I be healed alone?  No, of course not.  My mom will be healed as well.

My Course lesson today adds on page 145 and 146:

Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an acknowledgment of what they are and what He is.  Freedom is creation, because it is love.  […]  Your identification is with the Father AND with the Son.  It cannot be with One and not the Other.

My identification is with God AND the Son – the Son is Jesus, or holy guidance within, but ALSO as my holy mother.  I offer her freedom to create as she chooses and I accept her gift of love with gratitude.


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A Course in Miracles - The Movie


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