Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mealtime & Inclusion

Here's a little story about community and mealtime: 

About 4 years ago I found my spiritual family in Sikhism and 3HO Foundation. It was so exciting to finally feel at home in a community of people. 2 ago, I discovered that I have a fairly common gene mutation, which affects my health greatly. It was such a relief to discover why my health had seemed so fragile throughout my life, and it gave me a recipe to stay my healthiest. In order to avoid anemia and illness, I must avoid a lot of food additives and LEGUMES.

I'm learning how important food can be, as I try to navigate gatherings like Gurdwara and Solstice events in a vegetarian community whose diet is based primarily on legumes (soy, dal, mung beans, etc.). It means I have to decline a lot of food, make my own, bring my own, and risk offending people who don't fully understand why I am rejecting their love offering. I feel badly about this, and it does alienate me as I feel less included in mealtime.

On the other hand, I feel very blessed to know I have a G6PD deficiency, as most people who live with this do not know they have it, and their health problems remain a constant mystery to them. It is a double-edged sword. I'm sharing this because I also realize that no one truly and completely fits into a group. We are all unique and have varying physical/emotional/psychological requirements that may make us feel alone in the group. We are all included in God though. We are all One, despite the illusory evidence pointing to the contrary.

 Fateh!

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