I believe that our bad relationship with food is taught to us as children. We are taught to deal with our emotions by eating. Food is offered instead of comfort. When bad feelings happen, food fills the gaps.
How often do you see a parent putting a pacifier in her child’s mouth when he cries? This is so normal that we don’t even think about it. The child has legitimate need that needs to be addressed, and instead of getting help for his problem, something is put in his mouth.
Every time he is hungry, or tired, or wet, or sad, or upset, or too cold or too hot – something is put in his mouth. After months of this, he learns that this is how you deal with problems. Something isn’t right? Put something in your mouth.
This child will internalize this. He’ll either learn to eat or smoke or drink whenever he feels any twinge or any anxiety. When things aren’t going right, don’t find the reason for the problem. Self soothe by putting something in your mouth.
This is so simple that it is overlooked. This is so obvious that nobody sees it.
We need to stop using a pacifier and actually pacify children who are upset. We need to find out what the problem is and address it. They can’t fix their own problems. They can’t change anything about their environment. They let parents know that something is wrong by crying. Crying is natural. Crying keeps them alive. Ignoring it is neglect.
Say they have had enough food, and their diaper has just been changed, and they are still crying. They might just need love. They certainly don’t need a piece of plastic shoved in their mouths.
We have to think about the deeper lessons we are teaching children, those lessons we don’t even realize we are teaching them.
I love Botswana agate. It looks like this.
It looks like a topographic map, but not flat.
Here’s a necklace I made with two different kinds of agate. The small round ones are Botswana agate. The tabular ones are bamboo leaf agate.
It doesn’t really look real. It is hard to believe that God made something so amazing. But then again, God is constantly making amazing things and we are constantly taking them for granted. Just look at a bug – any bug. It is totally mind-blowing to me that something that small is self contained and alive. Surely it needs more space to be a fully functioning being, right? We do. We humans need quite a bit of space for our bodies to have all the stuff they need to work.
But I think that is the point. We often compare things to ourselves, because it is the only reference point we have. We look at something as tiny and intricate as a piece of agate with a bunch of fabulous lines on it, and we think it can’t be natural. Surely a human made that.
We forget that we ourselves are part of creation. We are not the most creative things around. We are co-creators – but God is the One that created us. The only reason we are able to be creative is because God created us with this impulse and ability.
I used to carry around a coin that was dated exactly one hundred years before I was born. I carried it around to remind me that the world existed long before me. There were people who lived and loved and lost long before me, and will do so long after me. I carried it to give me a sense of perspective.
This is part of why I like Botswana agate. It reminds me to stop and look at tiny things, and appreciate that God is indeed in the details.
In my heart I didn’t know
what to expect
when they were stubborn.
All are not happy
about the fact
that you are going
through my fears
after all these years,
because it isn’t about making them
dependent upon you.
Grief comes from kindness,
I’m trying not to mention
the time of year
you are going through.
I’ve heard she has been taught this time.
Never mind that.
Now I’m adrift too many years.
The way home is stuck in my heart.