Sometimes it’s really hard to know and believe what I believe, and believe that what I know is true, at least an approximation of true, for myself and for most people, in terms of food, nutrition, and health.  (I’m not talking specifics like omega-3 vs. omega-6 ratios, or whether fructose should be consumed, but large, general principles here – i.e. White sugar doesn’t belong in the human diet.  Cornflakes are less healthy to eat than cardboard. {ctrl-F “cardboard” to find the blurb in the link}  Grass-fed fat is good for you in conventionally excessive quantities.  Etc.)  And by extension, what’s likely true, based on my observations of my own body, for those who share my genetics and probably a lot of the same gut flora (and derivative nutritional deficiencies), since the human equivalent of a tree’s root system — gut flora — gets passed down, and around, through basic biological processes, contact, sharing, living together.

I struggle a lot to come to terms with the idea that the consequences I have learned about through my health journey probably apply, at least to some extent, to those I love.  And that they don’t want, or aren’t ready, to go on that journey with me. In fact, most of whom don’t entirely, if at all, believe what I have to say, or have time to consider everything I say, about healthy fats, or toxic soy, sugar, etc.  Or even if they do, implementing all that in their own diets and those of their children is not yet within a realm of possibility.

But they respect me and my ability to think and make decisions about my life for myself.  And I am grateful for that.

And they don’t seem to judge me for it.  As far as I can tell, and that’s really what matters — not whether they actually judge, but that I don’t know if they do.  (Because I judge myself harshly enough all on my own, thank you.)  I think a lot of them are holding out to see if I really will be able to do what I say this whole process can do, if I really can use foods to heal my body.  And I am grateful that they withhold judgment.  Because I’m one of them, I learned how to judge based on example, and I’m not always very good at the whole withholding thing myself.

And they listen to me, and they read this blog, and they ask me questions.  And I am grateful for that.

And they’re ok when I answer their questions with, “I don’t know.”  Or, “I’ve read it, but science is not my strongest subject, and I don’t think I can explain it correctly, but here’s more information.”  And, “As a humanist, this is how and why it makes sense to me.”  And I am grateful for that.

And one of my cousins is on board with the whole paleo thing, and one of my brothers has experimented with it, and my aunt has been eating sugar and grain-free/low-carb for decades to treat fibromyalgia, and they all give me implicit (and sometimes explicit) family support and approval that I crave, and that makes me think maybe I don’t appear quite so crazy in the eyes of other family members.  And I am grateful for that.

And my mom decided to give up sugar this summer after her sister suggested it might help, after losing several pants sizes giving it up herself.  And I am grateful for both of them choosing to do that.  I am excited to see what further consequences and changes this decision will make upon their lives.

And some of my other cousins have such tender affection for their newly adopted newborn, and hold her close all the time, and reassure her when she cries, and give her lots of skin-on-skin time to share pheromones and bacteria and who knows what else that is wonderful and good for babies, and have secured a good source of donated breast milk to supplement her diet.  And I am grateful for all that.

And there are lots of changes and strategies and supplements and eliminations that I believe could be SO useful and helpful for improving current health problems and future issues that the ones I love so dearly will likely face, from degenerative issues to autoimmune allergies and learning disabilities.  Issues that I will face with them, hand in hand.  Issues that we will cry and rage at the world about.

But I have more than enough on my hands right now just addressing the nutrition and health of myself and my husband.

I am grateful that I am not responsible for my loved ones’ health, but only that I am responsible for loving them. And for respecting their ability to think and make decisions about their own lives.  And for withholding judgment about their decisions — and apologizing, as I am attempting to do here, for any transgressions iterated above, for those other times when I haven’t held my tongue.  And for listening to them, and asking them questions, and accepting the answers they give me as adequate and useful.  And for providing cheerleader-quality support for their decisions and opinions especially when I wholeheartedly agree with them.  And for letting the world work in its own mysterious and wonderful ways in their lives, and for trying not to get too much in the way.

And I am grateful that sometimes I remember all this long enough to step aside from judging.  Because loving, rather than judging, makes me a much happier person.  Which I imagine probably makes my loved ones happier as well.  It has the potential to be a vicious circle.  :)

 

Photo Credit:  CarbonNYC on Flickr.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, and Paleo Rodeo.

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4 Responses to Family, Judgment, Gratitude

  1. Swathi says:

    Yes what you wrote is absolutely true. Difficult to live upon the different rules, if it is sugar free then taste is less with sugar means you are ingesting a lot of sugar( which is killer by itself). Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul hop.

    • Megh says:

      Indeed. Of course, I haven’t actually been ingesting any sugar per se, just things that contain glucose and fructose, b/c of GAPS, but it is a very slippery slope–once you get used to sweeter things, it’s harder to enjoy things that aren’t as sweet! The reverse can be true as well tho, when you cut sweet things out completely, your taste for them diminishes — as long as you don’t ramp it up again!

  2. Jeanie says:

    I am deeply touched by this (and other) posts. The “problem”, the challenge, is that we are hard-wired to make judgements–whether it is something as insignificant as “is this the best melon in the pile?” or something as life significant as “do I trust this surgeon with my life?” and everything in between we must “judge” to make decisions. I think it is infinitely harder not to “judge” when we care about someone and think they are making decisions that will hurt them. I have been so impressed with your grace in talking about what you passionately believe in–about the life-changing learning you are doing–and yet do not judge. You offer your knowledge and experience, like offering a plate of fresh fruit. We can choose to taste some, all, none and still you smile and offer it. Thanks for these gifts.

    • Megh says:

      Thank you for your comments, Jeanie — I really appreciate them, it means a lot that you have this perspective. I try and do my best but I’m so locked up in my own head so much of the time that I’m never sure if I’m perceiving myself and my actions and words accurately enough — that they’re not causing harm or hurt. Because it all makes perfect sense to me! :) (Well, not all the time!)
      Thank you so much — oh, and thank you for the pictures too! We put one up on the fridge — can you guess which one? :)

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