Sitting at the dinner table, oddly liberated. Over 20 years ago, I was meticulously picking through every meal served to me to make sure my well intentioned parents hadn’t hidden any meat or animal products in my dinner. Tonight, I chose and cooked a colourful and nutritious meal of bright orange carrots, big broccoli trees, cauliflower, yellow squash, green beans and rump steak!
The intense smell and taste of meat, and the thought of biting through animal flesh, used to turn my stomach inside out. Tonight I enjoyed the juicy steak, just as much, or more, than the fresh steamed veg. The blasé comment my parents made, probably off hand, once or twice about my choice at the tender age of 9, to become vegetarian ~ ‘its just a phase that should pass soon’, had strongly stuck with me.
My child-self took reincarnation seriously. For some time, I was afraid and convinced that my grandma who had recently passed, would be reincarnated into an animal, an animal that I most certainly couldn’t risk having plated up for me at dinner time! As I grew, my beliefs transformed, and reincarnation was not longer a bleak reality in my mind, nor relevant to my vegetarianism. Unknowingly, my motivations became about control and proving a point. As many children and adolescents are, I was desperate to make my own decisions and choices, take control of my life, become who I was to become.
The child inside screamed, ‘be with me, not do to me’, on the drawn out nights I stayed at the table alone, long after dinner time should have been over – not welcome to leave the table til I finished my meal. Stubbornly proving my point. Seemingly determined yet despondently fragile, undernourished and temperamental, many years passed. I pressed on with this ‘phase’ for 21 years.
The birth of a baby. The birth of another. The learning, developing, growing, maturing, changing. The gifts of motherhood. Liberated to let go of proving my point. I again made a big life choice, to cease being a vegetarian. The health of my body and the state of my mind at the forefront of this decision. Benefits flowing onto my breastfed children.
Overwhelmed by the joys of eating a steak!
It seems baggage comes in all shapes and sizes. What does yours look like? Are you ready to let go?