One lesson that has taken a long time for me to learn — and to be honest, I often still struggle with it — is understanding that my experience is not universal. Once I make a conscious effort to think about it, evidence is all around me, but my personal blinders can be deceiving.
This whole topic came up in my head during my last trip to my favorite grocery story (you know, the health food store!). As I was checking out, I looked at the magazines on display: They were a 50/50 split of keto/paleo and plant-based publications.
When I looked at my cart, I saw a similar split with cauliflower rice and tuna steaks, tons of fruits and vegetables and plant-based sausage. For me the item that said the most about my dietary habits was Primal alfredo sauce at only 60 calories a ¼ cup serving. I take from both camps because I count calories and won’t go hungry, so I need to make sure I get the most filling options. I had a foot in both worlds with a commitment to neither.
It reminded me a lot of going to the Mother Earth News Fairs. Hippies and preppers sit side by side soaking in the same knowledge.
I know what I think works for me (there is always the possibility I’ll be proven wrong), and I’m not threatened by those who believe differently. That hasn’t always been the case. I used to feel the need to convince others to join the “right” path. Fortunately, because I’m not very good at it, this was in pre-social media days.
As I learned to accept myself, I’ve extended that grace to others … at least I like to think so. I still find judgmental thoughts creeping in. At least now I realize it says more about me than the other person.