I about fell off my chair laughing this morning when I read this one simple chapter by Anne Lamott:
Chocolate with 81% cacao is not actually a food. Its best use is as bait in snake traps. Also, as a shim to balance the legs of wobbly chairs. It was never meant to be considered edible.
Don't let others make you feel unsophisticated if you reach middle age preferring Hershey's Kisses. So many of your better people do. Also, always carry a handful of Kisses in your backpack or purse to give away. People will like you more.
We all have a story to tell.
And we must tell OUR OWN story.
So evidently, my story involves Hershey's Kisses and how very much I love them. True confession...I'm coming out of the closet on this one...I have always loved them. My dream burial would be in my most comfiest Cuddle Duds, lying on my memory-foam-covered-bed with a bag of Hershey Kisses clenched to my chest. Perfect. Kids, take note.
Now, back to the Bitter Truth...
I was told years ago that for my health's sake I needed to start eating chocolate that was at least 70% cacao. My well-meaning nutritionist drummed this into me so, under his influence, I purged my pantry and secret stashes from any sign of the dreaded milk chocolate, meanwhile reciting over and over in my somewhat skeptical mind that milk chocolate would kill me but the other would be my salvation.
Need I say more? Let's just say I've come to believe that there are those, possibly, who can swallow 81% cacao without gagging, but I am not one of them. And I never will be.
Like Emily Dickinson said, The heart knows what it wants- or else it does not care.
I wanted Hershey Kisses in my life. And without them, life would be no life at all.
You get the picture.
But it's taken me a long long time to get the picture in focus.
You see, I grew up in the 60's and 70's...neither of which was good for you.
Unfortunately, much of what I allowed into my brain during that time still resides there: TV show jingles, rock and roll lyrics, cartoon blips...all of which I'm sure explain why, after all these years, this song came rushing back to me...
Who Are You? by The Who. (Fifty years later I realize just how hilarious that one sentence is!)
Honestly I don't even remember the lyrics which may be a mercy. All I remember is the main point of the song...which went on endlessly...
Who Are You? Who? Who? Who? Who?
Now it sounds like an owl to me, but back then I was young and impressionable and like all impressionable teenagers I set out to find out who I really was.
But somewhere along the journey I abandoned the search and became who I was expected to be.
And when I became a Christian, I was given even more fodder to chew on. The bar was raised and by gosh by golly, I would leap over that bar if it killed me!
I could...I would be that Perfect Christian: do the right thing, say the right thing, be the right thing...no matter the cost.
And cost it did.
I wish I knew then what I know now: that it's okay to BE YOU...just as you are...in all your glorious stupidity and real-time bumbling and perfect imperfection...
Living in all the crazy quirks and amazing gifts and interesting talents that make you...
Unique! One of a kind! YOU!!
I wish someone had given me permission...like Bob receives in What About Bob...permission to take a vacation from myself.
I think it would have gone much smoother for me...and I'm sure all those around me.
And all the homesickness I have been feeling for ever so long would never have come about.
I'm going to say something that is as true for you as it is for me...ready?
God loves you just as you are!
And the parts He may want to keep working on? Well, that's His responsibility to show you and empower you to follow Him through any change.
It's time to come alive!!
It's time to live!!
Who are you?
Are you a closet Hershey's Kiss lover who clams up the minute someone goes on and on and on about 81% cacao being the only way to long life?
Do you talk to animals? Dance in the rain? Find your greatest joy being alone in the garden with God?
Do you not want to wear make-up anymore? Dress like a Bohemian? Try something you've always wanted to try but have never been encouraged to do?
Just do it!
I know, I know...in all things balance. Health IS important. Wise use of time IS important. Not scaring people away IS important.
On the other hand, you won't know til you try! You may just find others who will join you in being real...
Who need to hear that they can stop and rest and be who they are...
Loved in the Beloved...gifted and talented by His choice...a magnificent creation empowered to display Him.
God is God. He's got this.
And He's got you. And me.
And now it's time to add a bag of Hershey's Kisses to my shopping list.
Shine on, dear ones!