There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

For susanwithpearls.com June 2013
For susanwithpearls.com June 2013

In a world of abbreviated texts and quick communiqués—LOLs, ROFLMAO, IMHO, etc—I’d like to pause a moment to remember the now oft-forgotten predecessors of these acronyms. Some of my personal favorites:

SOL, “shit out of luck”: I learned this from my dad who used it infrequently, but when letting us know that we (my siblings and I) could not have the what-ever-it-was we were asking for.

RHIP, “Rank has its privileges”: This is important when learning about the military, any hierarchy, or just being a kid (“when you grow up you can….”)

SOS, “shit on a shingle”: This one, also, was from my dad. It apparently refers to toast smothered in creamed corn beef, often served in military mess halls. Maybe that’s why they are “mess” halls?

TANSTAAFL, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”: I learned this one in college. It means that you don’t get nothin’ free; I suppose it’s a vulgar version of “quid pro quo”, this for that, if you want something, you have to give something.

Personally, I never quite believed TANSTAAFL. I learned it as a young adult, which means it was not embedded into my consciousness, my patterning, and my belief systems as I was growing into adulthood. I never quite believed that everything given was based on getting something in return. That’s just so…so…selfish. If people believe in TANSTAAFL, then not only are they always looking for what’s “in it for me”, but they are also denying others the gift of giving freely. When I give, there is no expectation of return. I don’t think “you owe me”; let me give just because I want to!

…I was in the register line today at one of my regularly-visited health food grocery stores buying just a few items, among which was a little piece of cheese for lunch. This store sells cheese “batards”—small, leftover pieces at the end of dividing the big cheese wheel. It’s fun to buy these leftovers—it lets me try cheese without a big commitment!

Waiting, waiting, waiting in line, I started to think.

I got centered, focused, and remembered to practice. Every morning, every evening, I become still and focus and remember to remember that I want to know the Truth, I want to know God, I want to be kind and loving; I ask for learning; I ask for knowledge—this is one way that I practice. Mornings and evenings are easy. Apart from the bustle of activity, I can be still. But generally, once my day begins, it becomes a challenge to remember to remember. So, I do my best to remember as often as I can. I remembered while waiting in line.

I thought (asked), “How do we Know the Divine?” “How can I Know I am divine?” “Do I believe I am Divine?” And I realized that I had an answer. My body shifted, I felt a different energy, a flow, and I realized (in the sense of seeing with real eyes), that I do actually believe I am divine. I am a divine being! Who knew!?  I know it somewhere, and I saw that I know it somewhere. And then, I understood why it’s not obvious: I don’t know what this means. What in the world—literally, in this world—does it mean, could it possibly mean to be DIVINE??? There are so many labels and definitions and things we call Divine, but what is it like to BE divine in this world; to experience being Divine? How do we understand Divine in this mundane life??

As these thoughts and questions went through my head, I moved up in line, the clerk scanned most of my items, and then came to the cheese. The register gave a little disapproving “buzz” when she scanned it. She did it again, and again the register disapproved. The manager came over, scanned the cheese, again the buzz. She typed in the SKU and still the register would not accept it. She looked at me and said, “Register can’t find it, enjoy!” and handed me the cheese.

Not only did this validate to me that there is such a thing as a free lunch, it also answered my question, “how do I experience the Divine” in daily life.

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