Opportunities to Feel Grateful
Being a food allergy survivor and father of a food allergy survivor child brings with it a host of opportunities to feel grateful for a day well lived. This Holiday season, let us give thanks for the “gift” of our food allergy, which enables us to open to ourselves and others with widening compassion.
Our food allergy has prompted us to stop, step back and examine our relationship with food and how we nourish our body. This connects us with our core human values, and the changes we make transform our lives.
When food can kill, yes, it’s frightening and leaves us feeling uncertain and raw and vulnerable. Energy needs to be invested in a focused and competent way to create strategies for avoidance and ensure our safety. This pushes us to increase present moment awareness, to balance the emotions that rise and fall like sailing on an unknown sea and yet to discover a soul competence that brings new meaning to even the smallest of life’s events. In some way, we taste life in a much more appreciative way. Everything is enriched because we realize and experience the beauty and fragility of change.
We learn to fight, not because of scarcity or burden or feeling the victim but rather fight for our right for freedom and sufficiency and purpose. Perhaps the greatest gift comes in experiencing “hunger” for the first time in our lives. Many of us so blessed have always had enough to eat and unconsciously take for granted that good food is always available. Our food allergies can put us in touch, for the first time, with what it feels like to be hungry physically, emotionally and spiritually. And perhaps it can lead you, too, into a direct connection with a global community where hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters are struggling for enough to eat each day. We gain perspective.
We do what we do each day to keep ourselves safe but we also start to listen to life in a new way. We become thoughtful and generous and allowing. We become courageous and committed. We recognize the value of love, family and friendship in a new brighter way. Because of our food allergy, we find ourselves open, vulnerable and heartful. We are better.
Out of not trusting comes a new ability and skill to trust. Our self-expression flourishes. We can be moved to tears and laughter sooner and more easily by those experiences that touch us. We have become rich in a such way that our generosity becomes natural. Soon we find ourselves at peace in a way that before our allergy, we couldn’t really feel and acknowledge. We know when we are safe. We know our confidence. We become something greater than ourselves and our limitations. We become grateful in the most whole and perhaps holiest of senses. Happy Holidays to all, and let us give thanks for all we have, all that we have let go and all that we are free from.
Father and Co-Founder