I’ve been trying to watch my diet a lot more closely as of late, and as I tend to do when I’m dieting, I’ve been eating a ton of chicken. Bland, basic, boring ol’ chicken. With that being in the forefront of my mind, because I’m basically starving to death for real food, when I was speaking with a friend about some relationship issues she was having, the first analogy I could come up with to prove my point included chicken. And somehow, by the grace of god, it made sense and was pretty impactful. Allow me to share and explain here.
The issue my friend is encountering is all too familiar to me. She is leaving her comfort zone, moving away from everyone she knows, and right now when she feels like she needs it most and assumed all the people who have been in her life would be there for her even more, they’re not stepping up to the plate. When we are going through major changes like this, I think people become hyper aware of things they might ordinarily let slide. That friend who never calls you first, the co-worker who can never pick up a shift when you’re sick, or maybe even the family member who always needs a shoulder to lean on but is suspiciously too busy when it comes to your hard times- these might all ordinarily just be a minor annoyance. But when you’re preparing for a major life change, you begin to take inventory of all those people who “should” be there for you and aren’t. These scenarios are what teaches us that we HAVE to be enough for ourselves because we are the only person we can truly depend on, and it’s also where the chicken analogy comes into play.
I told my friend, “Think of it like this. YOU are a big, juicy portion of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Without anything at all, you have all a person needs. High protein, low fat and calories, essential vitamins and minerals. Now, the people around you are seasoning. They’re the salt and pepper, the spices, the oils and herbs, the white wine and cream sauces. They’re all going to enhance your flavor. Some will be healthy for you, like dry herbs and spices. Some will be good for you in moderation, like olive oil or butter. And some will be absolutely horrible for you like heavy cream and cheese, and those are the worst because they are disguised as the most enticing temptations. At the end of the day, no matter how good all these add-ons enhance you (the chicken) they add nothing of real value. YOU are still the one who holds all the important nutrients and with or without that, you are still the most valuable ingredient.”
I think so often people, myself definitely included, tend to place all our value and worth into those around us, never dedicating the time and effort we should into the most important channel-ourselves. Whether it’s a partner or a friend or family member, we invest all our energy and love into someone else, and when they aren’t there, we’re left feeling empty and alone. Eventually there is going to come a point in all our lives where we have no one to depend on but ourselves. No one who can rescue us from whatever it is we’re going through. When the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you have to be strong enough to carry it to the finish line, and that is the root of this whole poetic poultry passage of hope.
Take the time to build yourself as a person. Figure out the things that make you happy without the influence of a partner. Learn how to stand up for yourself and say no to things that do not serve you. Seek out knowledge every day in an effort to better educate yourself, try new things and eliminate old things. And dedicate as much time as possible to building your self-esteem and learning to love yourself. When hard times hit, the circle of people you expected to be standing around holding you up will be much smaller than anticipated. You must be prepared by being enough for yourself with nothing else.
And just like anyone who is watching their girlish figure would know, keep a close eye on those seasonings. Enjoy the good ones with reckless abandon, but learn how to spot the hidden fat and calories in the yummy ones. Don’t let the ooey gooey alfredo sauce completely negate all the good healthy nutrients you’re bringing to the table simply because it looks and smells yummy at the time. It doesn’t matter how healthy the chicken might be, when you’re surrounding it with unhealthy stuff, the chicken itself becomes an unhealthy dish. Remember that when you’re choosing who to let in and out of your life.
I hope this made some sense to you all, and this isn’t the frantic ramblings of a sugar deprived brain. Have an amazing week and remember to ALWAYS put yourself first.