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Sharing vs. Not Sharing

For Sadhvi

To share, or not to share? That is the question. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to my family “NO SHARING.” Especially when it comes to food—my food, specifically. Maybe it’s a lingering holdover from my childhood with four brothers and sisters and no sense of boundaries between us. Or from having kids constantly hanging off me and eating off my plate. To me, the height of serenity is to have my own plate of food with no one else touching it. Sharing food is even worse when you’re at a business dinner when everyone is “sharing” and everyone is tentative about how far to dig into something and who gets the last bit. Especially when it’s sticky toffee pudding cake! No sharing! I’ve never been the kind of girl to share clothes with girlfriends, or shoes either (Eww!).

And yet, here I am sharing with you. Some would say over-sharing. I tell you many of my foibles and deep thoughts as if you were all my best friends ever and trust that you will honor my honesty (which you all do!!! Yay for that! Thank you!).

Sadhvi commented on my blog about blogger’s block about his/her own blog about sharing and not being sure if he/she wants to share anymore. And that got me thinking about my own weird views about sharing. I mean, why do I want to share some of my deepest thoughts but not my food? Is it because it doesn’t involve the transfer of germs? Even good germs?

Did you know that kissing (the mouth-to-mouth kind—you know, the French kind) shares as many as 10 million to 1 billion bacteria? Which made me think that sharing is really a form of intimacy and connection. We all have different comfort levels and boundaries about what feels good to share and what doesn’t. For me, sharing food on my plate feels bad, and yet I love to cook for others and share food in general. Just don’t eat off my plate, please! Kissing (the mouth-to-mouth kind) is reserved for exclusive use, and I am still in favor of it. But…when it comes to ideas, I’ll talk to anyone about anything if they’ll listen or read. Everybody is different. I’m sure there are over-sharers with food and under-sharers with talking. That’s what makes life interesting, isn’t it?

Genuine sharing, not forced sharing, is what it’s all about. If sharing is a joy and pleasure, go for it. If it’s not, examine that. Question it. Do what feels right. Embrace intimacy and connection when true sharing happens.

Please know, though, that if ever there were truly a person in need or a starving kid, I’d be the first to give them the food off my plate!

OK, time to share: What do you love to share and hate to share?

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8 Responses to Sharing vs. Not Sharing

  1. Sue July 31, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Maria, Sometimes when I read your blog, I feel you’ve stolen the thoughts right out of my head. I’ve been puzzling over the boundaries of sharing, partially because of several instances of oversharing that have been in the news.

    I love to share my cooking (but not off my plate!) and my homemade goodies. I hate to share my pillow. There is no head that I want on my pillow but mine. Particularly cringeworthy is people who sit on the pillows. Ick!

  2. J. Cummings July 31, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Rather than sharing, I like to reflect upon the goodness in another person’s heart. I like to notice: generosity, kindness, mercy, contentment — and whenever I see someone acting in this way, I speak up to say that I have noticed this — and wish that I might emulate these qualities more in my own life.

    I used to compulsively share… not just ethnic foods and recipes — but sharing of music, opinions, blogs, etc…. I found that I was looking for other people’s approval…. but, lately I am learning to listen more and to reflect back the positive. By learning from the good around me, I am finding a deeper sense of peace.

  3. Laura Jo K July 31, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    This post is not a deep thought at all. However, it got me thinking about my quirks.

    Love sharing: food (not on my plate, but from my garden)

    Hate sharing: Earrings (really grosses me out)

  4. Yen July 31, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Absolute No sharing & not want to be shared with:
    – husband lol
    – make up
    With other things, i would share mine depending on my mood and the other person, but i almost never want to be shared with especially food and clothes.

  5. Maya July 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I will share most things, even the food off my plate, so long as it is NOT dessert. I really do not like it when I am out with a friend and they suggest sharing a dessert. Hard to say no without feeling like a glutton. Ugh!

  6. manoo August 1, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    what i wanted to write, Sue already wrote! exactly the way…Anyways, yes, i dont like sharing food from the plate…but ofcourse, i give away lot of things never mind how much i loved them to have! even during my teen age, i never shared cloths or cosmetics, not even with syblings…if they liked, i would offer that perticular thing, never will accept…never my husband, lol! Rather i hate to watch people sharing each other’s plates, in parties…

  7. Kristen August 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    So many thoughts and opinions you share, I agree with whole-heartedly. I’d happily share a table with you, while we eat our own desserts!

  8. Mullein August 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    I can’t think of any thing I wouldn’t share… food, ice cream, clothes… wait – I wouldn’t want to share my toothbrush! Ewwwww! 🙂

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