Hungry for Love
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye
~ Antoine de St. Exupery
What if for all of us, the very thing we crave most is always right in our midst, and we just aren’t noticing it, leaving us feeling forever famished?
What if it’s our ability to give and receive love that we hunger after most?
When I was eleven years old, I had a wish that burned in my heart. More than anything, I wanted a best friend who I could walk to school with. There were lots of kids in my neighborhood, but none my age. Then, the summer before I entered the 7th grade, Monica moved in across the street. Etched in my mind like it was yesterday, I remember my mother calling me to the picture window in the front living room and pulling back the curtain smiling, saying, “That young girl who just moved in across the street looks like she’s your age.” My heart began thumping. I actually felt dizzy. Could it be? My best friend had arrived!
For the next two days, I tried desperately to summon up the courage to go say hello. When I finally did, just as I left my house to walk across the street, Monica’s mother called her in for dinner. She got up and ran inside without ever noticing me. Completely deflated, I fanaticized about our first meeting for another two agonizingly anxious fretful days before going over to knock on her door.
When we did meet, it was certain she was the one I’d been waiting for. Not only did we walk to school together, but we became fast friends, and wonder of all wonders, we walked home together too! That was the best of all, because my mother was a working mom, so when school got out, I typically went home to an empty house – but not after Monica arrived. We were always famished after school, and I wanted so much to offer her something spectacular to eat – a big piece of cake or a plate of homemade cookies, like I saw all the mother’s on TV offer their kids after school. But my mother never had time for that, so to me our cupboards always felt bare. You can imagine my joy then, when the first day Monica came over after school, as I searched frantically for something presentable to offer her to eat she spied a can of tuna, a package of English muffins and some plain old American cheese and lit up like we had the makings of a gourmet feast. From that day on, for the next few years, we ate tuna melt sandwiches a la Monica Monday through Friday – every single day after school!
What’s so interesting to me, as I look back now, is that I really didn’t even like tuna fish before Monica came along. But I absolutely adored feasting devouring on those sandwiches with her. Given the choice between a gargantuan spread of my very favorite foods and a tuna melt with Monica – I would’ve picked the tuna melt any day. I know now that was because of the invisible ingredient that made those tuna topped muffins the most sumptuous repast in the whole wide world. Without any doubt – it was the love!
I haven’t eaten tuna in years and years.
Now I eat a quite varied, well-balanced, mostly plant-based diet – however I am always sure to include in my meals, the one key ingredient of Monica’s melts that made them so irresistible to me – love. not only in what I eat, but to the best of my capacity in all things.
Monica brought out the best friend in me – she was my Soul sister. To me Soul is another name for (capital B – capital F) Best Friend. I see Soul as the part of us that innately knows love, and is love – the very voice of our own best interest that always compels us towards love – to extend, and so to experience more and more love.
When love colors your perspective in life, there’s an innate sense of fullness, richness and satisfaction that permeates our experience – no matter what it is. There is no mundane, not even in tuna melts eaten day after day. Soul-Full love brings us beyond the body’s needs met and elevates and expands our experience beyond ourselves.
It’s that sense of connectivity, of oneness, of melding into more, that we crave.
Since we all eat, most of us all day long, food holds an enormous potential to color or world in brilliant, vivid, soul-satisfying ways.
The Soul-Full Eating axiom is simple, yet artful and quite profound, when woven into our everyday lives,
Eat with love, what’s grown with love, prepared with love and served with love.
Gather the makings of your next meal with love – frequent local farm stands and places where the love of life is evident and the process of growing food lovingly is emphasized.
Prepare your next meal with love – even if it’s something as simple as a tuna melt sandwich (wink) – deliberately take the time to caress each moment with love.
When you serve, try feeling as though you are placing the meal in front of your very best, best friend – whom you’ve waited your entire life to arrive – even if that great and beloved friend is just you!
And when you eat – really, really eat! Show up! And pay attention, with all five senses, to the sight, smells, sound (snap, crackle, pop!), texture and brilliant taste of what’s in front of you. Make it your perfect feast – savored with love!
I’ve had plenty of opportunity, as a former student and best-friend turned international fashion model, to put the above Soul-Full Eating practice to work.
As I dined with models and celebs, who most often on supped on meager, superficial sustenance, and I found myself so far removed from the core-deep satisfaction of caring and sharing with my beloved best friend, I saw that in this love staved world, the “beautiful people” are the ones who sadly so many unconsciously emulate. When if we could all just sit ourselves comfortably in our own skin – lovingly and presently – we will meet our Best Friend. The one we crave to know most will surely arrive.
So here’s to life! To love! To your next Soul-Full meal! And to finding (within you) your very Best Friend.
Maureen Whitehouse will be presenting a talk and signing her award winning, best-selling book, Soul-Full Eating: A (Delicious!) Path to Higher Consciousness and her newly released book, Food: A Love Story at the Earth Day Celebration in Woodbury, Ct.
Come join in the celebrating, fun and learning for the entire family.
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