Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Cupboard Gourmet

I have a friend who is a cupboard gourmet. I’ve suspected it for some time —she is a single mom, after all — so when she happened to come by on a day I had been invited to a potluck I thought, hmmm, time to check it out. Not being a cook in anyone’s imagination, I was veering towards the standard when she knocked on my door: store bought hummus and crackers. I held back at first, not wanting to look like a vulture in for the kill, but just before leaving I somewhat benignly asked if she had any ideas for a meal. She looked at me with gamine eyes and then commanded me to open my cupboards. I gave a weak and somewhat whiny protest —there’s nothing there. She blithely pushed me aside. Within two minutes she had rambled off the seemingly bland and innocuous ingredients that lined my cupboard and fridge shelves and composed them into a theoretical meal. And, what a meal it was: my quinoa salad was delicious. Who’d have known I could cook?

I was thinking about this when I was writing my last blog about The Interconnectedness of Self-Worth. Until we realize our innate worth, it is only too easy to look in the cupboard of our soul and find it empty. We disregard the seemingly insignificant parts of our self, the parts that make us so unique and interesting, and say, huh, nothing there, better go to the store and get something to make us look or feel better. Or worse, we look inside and, seeing nothing, proceed to self denigrate on the basis of this faulty self perception.

The bottom line is that recovery from codependence is about being creative. There is something in everyone’s cupboard. These “somethings” can appear as faulty or bad the same way as a jar full of dried quinoa can suggest bland and not good enough to bring to a potluck. But looked at from another perspective and the seeds become the basis for an extraordinary salad. Coming back to me, take my desire for external attention — an undesirable something that lies in my inner cupboard. I could discard it as unworthy but why would I? This desire to be seen has been with me a long time, ever since childhood. Back then, I found care and attention was lacking so I became creative in getting it back. It developed within me a talent for teaching, writing and entertaining. Sure, I can sometimes act impulsively or be obnoxious but, for the most part, this skill of looking for and finding attention has served me well.

My cupboard is, and never was, bare. It just needs a gourmet, ever so often, to see its inner delights.

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