Lessons From A 3 Year Old And A Bagel
I've had the pleasure to meet one of my soul sisters in this lifetime. She has brought me so much joy and love in my life when I needed it most. She helped me when I couldn't help myself. For a little background, a few years ago I feel into a deep dark depression that lasted close to 3 years. There was little anyone could do for me as much as the people that loved me tried. But the one person that actually could help was my soul sister. She sparked a little flame of light in all my darkness when I was with her. She happens to be 3 years old and her name is Zoe. I actually met her when she was born. She was born in the exact moment in life that the Universe knew that I needed someone. I just didn't know it was going to be someone who is 23 years younger than me. I go into this backstory so you know what Zoe means to me and what kind of relationship we have. She will always be someone who sparks love and happiness in me. Her mom even jokes with me that I'm her unofficial Godmother, which I have gladly accepted. Although Zoe is only 3 years old she teaches me life lessons every time I'm with her. I wanted to share with you what she taught me last week .
Two days a week I get the pleasure to pick Zoe up from school. I love being able to see her smiling face as she runs to get in the car. I think we both give and receive the same amount of love to each other and that's why we have such a great connection. She also loves my puppy "Chai Chai." So when she gets in the car she says how much she loves me and how much she loves Chai Chai (I bring Chai to go pick her up.)
I've been having this 2 day a week pick up routine for about 4 months now. Every single time we drive home together she asks me to stop at her favorite bagel shop. For 4 months I would drive by it every time and say that one day I would take her. I'd always intend to bring her but I never made the commitment to actually schedule it in my mind that we would go that day. A big reason I never would bring her is because I hadn't been in a bagel shop for years. It just wasn't a place I would ever go because I always thought bagels were "bad" and "wrong." It was almost just an unconscious forbidden place that I would never even consider. My past eating disorder told me that bagels were bad and were off limits to ever eat.
As I've healed and learned to love myself, love my body, and love my food after many years of work I realized this was a perfect healing opportunity. I've learned that food is neither "bad" nor is it "good." It's just food. One meal or one day of eating will not make you "fat." Your body consists of what you eat on a consistent basis so eating one bagel wouldn't make or break me. It wouldn't make me gain weight, it wouldn't damage me in any way unless I chose to mentally damage myself. So last week I decided that after 4 months of Zoe asking me that I would surprise her after school and we would go to the bagel shop and eat a bagel together.
As we were almost to the bagel shop I said, "Zoe, guess what! I have a surprise for you!" She looked where we were and noticed the bagel shop to our right and was so excited. We parked, I got her out of her car seat, and we walked in together hand and hand. The lady at the counter was nice enough to give Zoe a mini bagel for free as we were deciding what flavors we wanted. Zoe knew she wanted the cinnamon sugar bagel. I was contemplating what I was going to get. I was thinking should I get whole wheat? At least trying to make it a healthy choice. Should I just share with Zoe and eat half of hers? Then I told my "food ego" to shut up and I decided to get what I truly wanted. I ended up choosing a chocolate chip bagel toasted with cream cheese (my bff and I would always get the chocolate chip when we were younger, so it was more of a nostalgic choice.) I told myself this was my opportunity to grow. To show myself that I can eat one bagel by myself, enjoy it, not beat myself up over it, and let go of the stigma that bagels are "bad" and "wrong." This was my time to eat a "fear food" and see that it's actually just freaking bread and cream cheese.
We got our bagels and decided we were going to eat them back at home. We drove home the rest of the way talking about her bagel, her day at school, about Chai Chai, about her best friend, and pretty much just what goes on in her 3 year old world. As we got home we went to the table to sit and eat. At the table we both enjoyed our bagels talking, laughing, and enjoying each others company. We finished up and played outside with Chai Chai, Ella, and Winnie for a little bit before I went back to work.
You may think okay and then...? So here you go. These are the lessons I learned from a 3 year old and a bagel.
- Food is love. Food is joy. Food is conversation. Food is social. Food is life.
- Eat with love so your body absorbs the love you put into it.
- Bagels are bread with some dairy spread on it. No big deal.
- Bagels are really not that important. One bagel will not make a difference in your world.
- Eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you are full.
- Restricting food can make you miss out on wonderful experiences. For example making Zoe happy and sitting together at the table was lovely. Saying "yes" to a bagel brought me so much joy! It wasn't about the bagel at all it was about the experience I had with my soul sister.
- Little kids can teach you more than you know, so listen to them.
- Be a YES to life.
- Life is short, make the best of it!
- Take on opportunities that will help you grow as a person. Ex. Eating a "fear food" and realizing it's not a big deal.
There was 100 lessons from that one day with Zoe and our bagels. In life we are always given opportunities to experience lessons that make us grow. So be open. Don't let opportunities pass you by because of your wounds from the past. On the other side of your pain is freedom.
Thank you Zoe Love for the light you bring into my life. I love you.
If you relate I'm here for you and would love to work with you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE Body Love session.