“You have to learn to get up from the table if love is no longer being served.”– Nina Simone
If you are the only one cooking, serving, clearing the table, washing the dishes and putting the leftovers away, it’s time to invite better dinner companions. I have learned that over the years as I had often been the one in the role of chief cook and bottle washer, as well as clean up crew. I had believed that in order to maintain connection with partners and friends, I needed to take that on, thus making myself indispensable. It became exhausting and then return on investment of my time and energy was not commensurate.
These days, I welcome those who are willing to assist in each of those tasks, bringing their best selves to the table. I am moved by the story that I think of as ‘feeding each other in heaven.’ A person dies and is met by St. Peter. She asks the guardian at the gate to show her the difference between heaven and hell. She is first ushered in to a room that had a long table filled with the most luscious foods imaginable. The aroma was intoxicating and she found herself salivating wildly. She noticed that the people were moaning in pain; starving in the midst of plenty. She asked how that could happen and St. Peter pointed out that each person had a spoon or fork attached to their arms that were too long to be able to scoop up the food and get it into their mouths. “This is hell,” said her guide. “Show me heaven,” she begged. They walked into the next room where she beheld the same kind of table, food and utensils. These folks were in a celebratory mood, laughing, smiling and well nourished. “How could this be?,” she queried. He replied. “Don’t you notice that these people had learn to feed each other across the table?”
Who would you want at your table? It could be someone from your past, that may have pushed their chair away and excused him or herself politely or it might be another whose absence is due to moving on to the heavenly dining hall. What would you speak about with these folks? At the end of the ‘meal,’ would you feel body, heart and soul satisfied?