Cheese and Authenticity

For lunch yesterday, I went to Alon’s Bakery in Atlanta.  I had this beautiful French salad with cheese, lettuce, pecans, onions and balsamic vinagrette.  For dessert, I ate a cup of rich chocolate mouse with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  It was delicious!  The problem is that I’m sensitive to dairy and wheat.  I’ve noticed when I have dairy and wheat, my ears clog up.

We have an oxygen chamber in our bedroom.  It’s a long white tent on our floor that I go into most afternoons with my son.  It’s helping him with eye contact, energy, language, and initiation.  Normally, during this time of the year, I’m a little depressed and lethargic.  I’ve noticed when I do the oxygen tent with my son, I’m energetic and happier those days.

The hardest part of the oxygen chamber is what it does to my ears.  My ears are very sensitive and the pressure is like going on an airplane.  Sometimes my ears hurt when I’m in the tent — especially if my ears are stuffed up.  Yesterday, after my delicious French salad with cheese, my ears were very stuffed.  They hurt yesterday, when I was in the chamber.  I had a headache all night.

I know it will help my son more if I don’t eat dairy and wheat, and I’m able to go in the chamber more because my ears are clear.  However, I have a hard time giving up these delicious foods.  My son is on a sugar free, very low carb diet so we have no starches at all in our house — not even carrots nor fruits.  When we have a babysitter for a couple of hours, I want to flee and go load up on all the “No’s” in our house.  So, I’ll have a big meal of sugar, starch, wheat and dairy before I go home to our house of chicken and kale.

Today, I spent some time knitting while listening to Barry Kaufman’s CD, “Radical Authenticity.”  He talks about how most people believe being authentic can be dangerous because people may not like you for what you say.  However, he said that lack of authenticity, is actually dangerous, because stuffing all of your thoughts leads to illness and disease.  I thought, “As opposed to giving up cheese, maybe I’ll just be authentic.  That’ll get rid of my stuffy nose and ears.”

I went in the oxygen chamber with my son this afternoon.  As the pressure was building and I felt my ears pop, I decided to be authentic.  For less than a minute, I told Cal everything I was feeling as it was happening.  I figured, “He’s autistic and very sensitive.  He already probably knows what I’m feeling.  It couldn’t hurt to tell him what he already senses.”

I said, “I’m doing guilt.  Now, I’m doing shame.  Now, I’m doing love.  Now, I’m doing gratitude.  Now, I’m doing happy.  Now, I’m doing ‘I’m a bad Mom’.  I’m doing grateful.  I’m doing upset.  I’m doing love.  I’m doing happy.  I’m doing guilt.  I’m doing confused. I’m doing unhappy.  I’m doing clear.  I’m doing love.”

Cal didn’t look at me like I was crazy.  He had amazing eye contact during my 30 seconds of authenticity.  I felt close to him.  I did eat dairy and wheat today.  My ears felt fine during and after the chamber.  Hours later, I feel great — No headache and I’m not stuffed up.  So, the next time I’m with you, maybe I’ll have a pizza and tell you what I really think.  It sure beats cancer.  Hopefully, you’ll love me for who I really am.  If you don’t, it could be an opportunity for me to find out.  Then I could choose to surround myself with people who actually love me without my masks.  That would be a really safe feeling to be with people who know the “real” me and still love me.


9 Responses to “Cheese and Authenticity”

  1. Janet says:

    The last two lines of this blog entry in particular really resonated with me! I think we are all searching for people who know us inside out and still want to stick around. That’s the definition of unconditional love.

  2. ellen sandor says:

    I so love you unconditionally. But I have to admit with my sensitive ears I’ll stick to gum. It works for me. Keep the blogs coming.

  3. Julie says:

    I agree with Janet – and mom! I don’t know how to cope with ‘doing guilt’ will try to work on it though. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Eric says:

    Sign me up for that Pizza and Authenticity

  5. Melissa says:

    You’ve got your own unique grip on this life thing. When I read your posts, I feel like you are truly present – present in your day to day life, and present in your writing. And always present with your warm, gentle humor. The more and more I learn about the authentic Penya, the more I love her!

  6. Molly McD says:

    “Our House of Chicken and Kale” should be the name of a book. Or maybe a restaurant.

    Keep on being authentic, and keep on knitting (when did you start doing that?), and keep enjoying your meals.

  7. gretchen says:

    To build on on Molly’s idea how about a double face cookbook- The House of Chicken & Kale and the flip side The House of Bread & Cheese. Kind of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing. I think you know which side I would be flipping to. :) Seriously though I am grateful i have you in my life Penya.

  8. Gina says:

    Another amazing post. I learn so much from you everytime I read your words!

  9. elizbeth says:

    this is an honor to know you and to adore you. thank you. i am a fat pig and i earned the forty lbs bec i have a motherf x who is a fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff