The Cookie Substitute
by Jackie Woods
My mother was a fabulous cook, especially with desserts. At church socials, people would always ask a family member what Mother brought. She also shared her garden abundance. Sharing food was the way Mother shared herself.
Even though Mother was incredibly generous with food, she had a hard time sharing herself in other ways. And for a long time, I resented what felt like a lack of love between us. I wanted her to fully open her heart to me. And to me that meant verbal sharing. It felt as if she didn’t love me because she didn’t share her heart in the way that I wanted it shared.
With maturity, I discovered that Mother wasn’t just handing me a cookie as a love substitute, but instead she was handing me many parts of herself. Her cooking contained creativity, patience, structure, and nurturing. Her bread-baking took qualities that I obviously was never able to pull together, because I could never recreate her wondrous bread.
So when someone shares with you, no matter what shape it takes, be sure to look past the surface so you can acknowledge all the heart gifts that went into it. Don’t do as I did and see the cookie as a poor love substitute.
Also, take a minute to remember how you share yourself. Maybe it is by growing flowers. Maybe it is through sports or music. Much to my amazement, many people today have learned to share through their computer skills. Basically, any physical action that we give to, or do with, others is a way for us to share the qualities of our heart.
So by becoming aware of what you are sharing, you will become aware of what others are sharing. Opening up to the many gifts you receive each day will make a huge difference in your love quotient. Of course, there will be some qualities you wish a friend had, which they don’t. But discovering the ones they do have will fill that inner need for sharing with another human being that we all have.
However, unless you are aware of your heart gifts, you might just be handing people a cookie substitute. So start each project with an intent to express parts of yourself. The more aware of heart gifts you become, the more love you will be able to share.