Nothing Needs to be Done

— Tips from a dream

I had a few bites left on my dish. I was full but I felt it was my duty to finish the plate. It was a beautiful salad full of fresh veggies and the remaining bites were of chopped tomatoes and corn. The laborious meal was finally coming to an end!

My friend walked into the room after she arrived from the airport.

"Hey! Can I have some of that?"

"You want this? I mean I only have a few bites left." They weren't the most appetizing bites, but hearing how she was hungry and interested in the salad, I felt my efforts were slightly wasted. Someone else would have joyfully finished the dish.

She grabbed the plate. I was ecstatic. "Take it all! I was just eating because I didn't want it to go to waste."

My jaw relaxed for a moment. It was tired of munching.

I looked down at the table. What? Another enormous plate? A beautiful arrangement of small tasty bites laid before me. A bite of curry flavored rice sat on a green leaf. An assortment of fruits and vegetables were arranged by color. It was a beautiful dish.

"Ahhh" I groaned. "I cannot wait until this is over." I started to shove bites into my mouth. "The dish is so pretty, it shouldn't go to waste!" I thought.

As I took my third bite, I woke up. "It's just a dream?" I was happy the burden disappeared.

Why did I need to finish the plates? I could have spent dream time having fun, but instead, I chained myself to plates of food.

I experience this burden in real life. Over breakfast, if we have cut veggies left over, I feel it's my duty to finish them all, even if I'm super full.

Perhaps I haven't gotten over the trauma of my parents telling me to finish my food because 'children in Africa are starving'. I'm surprised that across the world, my husband, living in Communist Poland, was told the same.

There's a sense of unworthiness in not taking advantage of everything you're given. You've wasted food. You're such a waste to this planet if you waste food other people 'could' have had. It's a guilt that I haven't worked through.

Maybe my existence can go to 'waste'. Maybe I don't have to take advantage of every single circumstance given to me. Maybe I become enslaved to the advantages I have as I use my life up in making use of them. Maybe the advantages need to be let go.

The plate of food never needs to be finished.

Whether I eat it or not, whether the food is left to rot, whether my friend eats it or not, the food will disappear. It all goes to 'waste'. Just as I'll disappear and with that, all 'advantages'.

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