Wisdom From a McDonalds Egg McMuffin
Yesterday I sought help on Facebook. I was having one of those mornings that had started off poorly...and I just couldn't let go of the story. Allow me to recount the real-life version:
We rarely go to McDonalds, but hubby and I had decided that after dropping off the kids at school we'd treat ourselves to a breakfast out. I do love the McDonalds Egg McMuffin (without the meat, of course).
I'd gone to the counter and ordered my 2 sandwiches (yes, I was hungry) without the Canadian Bacon. The cashier had no questions so I assumed all was well. (I usually get at least a raised eyebrow.)
When I sat down with my sandwiches, I noticed both had the meat on them. I went back up to the counter and said, "Pardon me, but I had ordered these without the Canadian Bacon...without the meat." The cashier gave me kind of a blank stare, then went to get someone else behind the counter. As she was walking away, I said, "If you are going to have to throw them away, I can just give them to my husband...he can eat them."
The lady told who I assume was a manager, "Yeah, I guess she ordered these without meat or something". The manager just gave me a look, came over to the register and typed something in, then went to call back the order. I repeated to him, "Thank you...and if you are going to have to throw these away - I don't want to waste food - I'll just give them to my husband."
At this point, the person I'm calling the manager reached OVER the counter, took both of the wrapped sandwiches I was holding by my waist OUT OF HANDS, and said "We need to throw them away anyway"....and proceeded to dump them in a trash can by his feet and walk away.
I threw up my hands, exclaimed through a loud sigh "What a waste of food!", grabbed the two new sandwiches that had just been sat down, and fumed the rest of the morning.
On Facebook, I asked for advice: was this a passionate response to which I should pay attention or an emotional outburst of which I should let go?
I received countless wise responses (I adore my Facebook friends). Through those, I was able to breathe and find a bit more of a perspective on the situation. But I wasn't able to let it go. After hours of reflection (a long time to hold onto an Egg McMuffin)...I realized why.
This particular situation was an emotional response. It is part of my practice to learn how to let it go.
The overall (deeper) cause was a passionate response. It is part of my practice to learn how to use that energy for change.
Yes, I am pissed that an animal was born, killed, processed, ...and then thrown away. (I'm in the minority here, but that one deeply affects me.) I'm peeved that food was wasted when so many are going hungry...when there was someone a few streets down standing on the corner who would've done drastic things for those sandwiches. I'm ticked that not one, but two people working at McDonalds didn't see me as a person but an (as evident by their responses) annoying customer. I'm angry that I let this all get to me so much.
But the deeper reason was in fact what drives LifeUnity.
I've heard it said to watch for those things that create an almost animalistic response within you. The things that get the juices in your stomach flowing, the things that overtake your thoughts. THESE are the things that are cluing you in as to your "purpose"...the things that are awakening you to a deeper flow to which we are all trying to align.
I couldn't let go because this was one of those things.
My fires start when someone doesn't care about other perspectives. They burn when someone intentionally denies themselves the opportunity to see life in a different angle. They rage when someone choosing this path denounces, poo-poohs, or angrily attacks the perspectives they choose not to acknowledge.
All this from an Egg McMuffin.
Without getting too far into my philosophies, LifeUnity is about awareness. It is about becoming aware of all perspectives...all of these stories, these realities in which we exist. It is always a practice.
We get caught up in our own version of reality then realize through a news story of tragedy in a place we didn't know existed but somehow pulls at our heartstrings, a breakthrough in creative development that allows us to redefine who we are, perhaps a death of someone close to us, or an experience where someone throws away perfectly good food that things aren't what they seemed.
New perspective. New realities. New life.
I believe existence within awareness leads to enlightenment. When we do the dishes and pay the bills...and yet go through the world fully aware of all of the realities that exist...we are enlightened. (I'm not, by the way.)
When I step out of my door, off the computer world where so many seem to agree with me, I step out into new realities. I face those who don't share my values. It feels like stepping onto a surfboard in the ocean...the waves toss everwhere, balance is lost, it is sought again. It is up to me how I react when faced with that.
But when I step back into my house and back into the place where I am balanced, it is up to me how I share this awareness. It feels like stepping off the surfboard onto solid ground. It is my responsibility to pay attention to the fires that burn within me and, being blessed with health and shelter, to acknowledge, honor, and - without apology - share those ways of seeing the world.
I believe I am partly your stories and you are partly mine. When either one of us ignores the other, we are ignoring ourself. And until we both acknowledge this and begin our practices, we are no closer to living in peaceful existence.
And damn it, I want to live in peace.
That's why I get so pissed when someone treats me with cold disregard. That's why I get infuriated when someone throws away food...and especially meat. My story, the story of the hungry person down the street, and the story of the animal that gave its life was just negated...erased. Ignored.
And I breathe.
It is my responsibility to awaken myself....and to practice staying aware. Only from that place can I help others. If their story includes me...I must take care of myself to take care of them.
So I love, I care, I share. I get a wrongly-made sandwich and face those who aren't aware, I get pissed, I vent. I breathe...and I love again.
And there you have it.
Nicely wrapped up like the Egg McMuffin.
But wait: the wrapped sandwich does no good. Allow us to open, to eat, to share. Tell me of your times at McDonalds or your times avoiding it, tell me of your family deaths that changed your life forever, tell me of the kids that scream while the dinner burns, tell me of the creative flow into which you move when your fingers run through the paint, tell me of the dance you do when your favorite song is on and no one is watching.
Tell me. Tell yourself. Let us share the smallest of details and then fly to the broadest of wild, imagined perspectives and possibilities. Let us philosophize with gratitude that we can do so...then take a delicious bite of our food.
Let us learn, let us grow, and let us find that ever-elusive peace through awareness.