to obey is better than sacrifice… but sacrifice, with a generous heart, can lead to greater joy.
that’s a hefty thought to take away from saying no to ice cream, no?
i’ve been on a health journey for a few months that has required giving up several food items i used to love. dairy is one of those things, and i’ve mourned it. how hard to navigate social gatherings when coffee gets cream, gelato is a girl-night treat, and every appetizer highlights cheese. glorious cheese.
and even as i type these words, i see how silly it is to “mourn” the loss of a luxury food, when others go without daily. and i am amazed each time i say no, because doing so opens up a new way to create, to enjoy, to savor. i can’t have coffee with cream. but aeropress and espresso are a pleasure as-is. hot tea with honey is a treat. and more, having nothing allows me to savor a moment, over a thing.
all this thinking about silly food (yes, this from a self-proclaimed “foodie” who is raising recipe-makers and pastry-bakers) points me to a bigger truth:
saying no to something can bring greater joy in what does get an intentional “yes.”
there’s a very popular book out right now called the best yes. i haven’t read it, but i know the primary premise is wisely choosing what gets priority in life, and doing it amidst the roar of everyday life and its demands. and as silly as it sounds, each time i say “no” to something i am not putting in my mouth, i feel like i am saying “yes” to something greater… a better me, with clarity of purpose, and more joy in what i do choose to enjoy. i’m learning not to mope about “cannots” and to rejoice in “cans.” and that lesson applies to a lot more than food.
(by the way – the pretty picture above is actually from my dairy-free salted maple ice cream. click over to make it for yourself.)