I was 14 when I gave up eating meat.
18 when I gave up god, as fed to me by my church.
On the surface, these two facts have little in common.
It is no coincidence that last night I ate a hamburger for the first time in more than 20 years, and this morning went to church with the intention of exploring my relationship with organized religion for the first time in 17.
You see, it all boils down to coconut.
Umm . . .
Well, growing up, I despised coconut. If I could taste even a hint of coconut in something offered to me it was out of my mouth and off my plate in seconds.
Then, a couple of years ago, I started to kinda like a hint of coconut flavouring in my food. And then more than just a hint. And then suddenly I was adding it to things that didn’t even call for it. And eating shaved coconut right out of the bag after a trip to the bulk section of my local health food store.
What made absolute sense at one point in life, may not hold water in another.
Or maybe it will?
Maybe you just need to reassess it against some new information that’s entered your mind-body-heart-spirit.
To make sure that it still fits.
To figure out the alterations necessary, if it doesn’t.
But also a book about eating locally that made me realize that access to local, conscientiously-raised meat is an option available to me now that hadn’t existed when I first went veg in the fall of 1994.
And a new phase of a search for community that began about two years ago when I recognized the need to pull myself out of the isolation I’d wrapped myself in as I struggled through a particularly challenging time with the addiction and mental health issues in my family.
Oh. And then there’s this amazing book on relationships that an old friend who re-entered my life a few weeks ago recommended. It made me realize that I want to sort my relationship with the church out before I have a partner or a family to contend with. Because, while I have no doubt that I want spirituality to be a part of my future family, I’m not yet sure what role I see for organized religion. Although I absolutely recognize what an important and loving place my church community was for me throughout much of my childhood.
Lots of influences shaping my thoughts and actions these days.
Lots of re-evaluation.
And room for change.
But really. When is that not the case with me? With most of us? Who make the choices that are right for us now, while keeping our mind-body-heart-spirit open to the possibility that one day, we might wake up with a sudden craving for coconut?