We walk into Whole Foods around lunchtime and I am full of judgment and vitriol for the fiasco unfolding all around us. Why? Is this hard to imagine? TD and I just finished a stunning morning hike in Eldorado State Park. It's the day after Labor Day. I was full of gratitude and awe just moments before—reveling and struggling and loving it all, not wanting it to end. I am reminded of how I used to walk out of a really deep, healing yoga class and watch just how quickly I would fall back into the muck of everyday life around me, which I shamefully admit sometimes brings out the worst in me. Which I shamefully admit I don’t immediately stop myself from engaging, even though I know better. Watching people, judging them, spurring on the criticism of just how crappy we humans can be. I know, I know that such harsh judgment of others is 100% a reflection of my own inability to truly accept and love myself. I know this and I engage it anyway, at least for a few ugly minutes. But in Whole Foods today I am walking through the hot bar aisle trying to fill up my plate with vegetable korma and lentils when I almost run into a person’s shopping cart, full of insulated bags, and their BABY stroller, with a real live sleeping baby in it, parked directly in front of the yellow curry. No owner in sight. I kid you not. I stood there long enough, my mouth gaping open, to see if the owner of these carts would come trotting back to claim their wares. No, in fact, they did not. I was dumbfounded. Truly. In my mind I thought what insane white privilege, what wealthy, ridiculous trust and audacious entitlement! The freaking NERVE!
Naturally, I stomped off to stand in line with my husband, after loading up a big piece of naan atop my plate, feeling a bit of this irrational rage misdirect itself at him for what, I don’t know. On the patio where we sit and eat, a couple allows their baby to sit and scream on the table, while the other toddler runs around chasing butterflies or something. The mother talks about her email account and where they should “scooter” later. I suddenly tell TD I only have enough compassion in my heart for a dog, and that’s that. I am too cruel, too prone to fits of rage and judgment, despite all of my spiritual quests and therapy. I can only love Hank unconditionally, I can only forgive my animal's degree of foolishness and bad behavior (which is also mostly my fault, of course). I can only love one creature at a time this much, besides my husband. A child would undoubtedly ask too much, would break open the careful boundaries of my selfish heart, would inevitably cause me to do insane things. Imagine having to foist this degree of criticism on myself, while parenting. No thanks.
As we toss our plates into the compost bin and walk back to our dogs waiting patiently in the car, I am reminded of just how absurdly privileged I am, too. What an asshole. To take beautiful hikes on a Tuesday with my husband and my dogs. To eat a huge plate of food from the hot bar at Whole Foods and to take a freaking bag of cookies home with me. To lick frosting off my fingers. To not have to endure a fucking natural disaster today. To not have to worry about where we will sleep. To not have to worry about whether or not my child can continue her education in the United States, or whether or not she will have to find a new goddamned home in six months. To lose track of my appreciation for my life during the span of a lunch break. To chat with my husband about what we should have for dinner tonight as we playfully hit each other for rounds of punch buggy. All of my scorn tossed back into the wind and forgotten. Almost all of it.