Sometimes we need to eat the whole cookie
Sometimes in life, we need to eat the whole cookie.
When I was only four years old my parents divorced. For those of you who read “How do you talk to a Shadow,” you may remember my youngest sister was born when I was almost 4. Ok, so now that we are all caught up, I digress.
My dad moved to an apartment less than a quarter of a mile from our large three-story home. He rented a tiny one-bedroom space from a local teacher at the elementary school. The younger kids (the four of us) would spend time at my dad’s, as was the norm with many split families.
My dad always kept a package of Oreo cookies at his house. I had never been a fan of chocolate, so my habit was to remove all the cream from the center of the cookie. I then carefully placed the top and bottom of the cookie back together and slyly put them back into the package.
I remember my father crossing his arms across his chest, looking down at my little form. I knew I was in trouble. I had been naughty.
“You can’t eat only the part of the cookie you like. You need to eat the whole cookie.”
My dad and I were opposites, and he was dark, moody, and a bit bitter. I was light, cheerful, gentle, and kind. I would sit in wondering who my dad was, and why did he treat me so differently than my siblings?
At times it seemed our differences were less of the fact that he disliked me, but rather he didn’t know how to love and embrace parts of himself he hid. I am certain that had we been able to communicate we would have realized we were very similar.
What if all that I believed was not the truth? Could my own sensitivity and empathic abilities see things in my dad that scared him? Sometimes we attack others’ traits that we struggle with within ourselves.
Could my father have dreamed of being soft, warm, and more loving? Did he worry that by lowering his protective barrier he would be seen as weak? Is that why he struck out against the tears that quickly flowed from my eyes? Was he so harsh against my quiet nature because he secretly wished for silence and peace?
So, what does this have to do with a sandwich cookie?
Simple–I am the light part of the cookie. My father is the dark sandwich pieces, the part many toss away because it's not as good as the cream. The shadow to the light.
I realized today that when my father said, “Sometimes you need to eat the whole cookie”, he taught me a valuable lesson. Even if you don’t like parts of yourself, it's important to embrace them. Allow them to sit with you, bringing with them their gifts.
For us all to be whole and complete we need to embrace the dark and light together. That’s where we struggled the most, unable to make the shadow and the light join and become one.
Now excuse me as I have a date with the Double Stuffed Oreos. Although I am always working on integrating my shadow and light self, I still very much enjoy eating the sweet cream center, only now I eat the chocolate too and think of my dad.