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February 10

4 lessons from eating corn on the cob

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I never thought I would eat corn on the cob again. You may be a corn on the cob lover or you could be one that couldn’t care less. For a long time, I hated it! Actually, hate is a strong word but I disliked it; a lot. This dislike came from a childhood experience I had. One day my mum, I think, bought my sisters and I roasted corn. After eating mine, I threw up violently as something about it didn’t sit well with me that day. The next time I was offered corn on the cob, you can bet I kept my distance.

I didn’t even want to be involved whenever anyone was eating or even cooking corn on the cob. The amount of times I passed corn on the cob can’t be counted. This followed me into adulthood, well into my thirties. Whenever my mum came to visit me from Nigeria, I wouldn’t even buy the corn, talk less of cooking it for her. That’s how much of an aversion I had to it.

Then I found out that my lovely husband, who makes me blush like a school girl, liked corn on the cob. Oh oh, what was I going to do? Corn on the cob had not been a dating/courting discussion because “hey, who doesn’t like corn?”

Well obviously, we should have because it was about to become an issue; for me at least. The food I had dreaded for so long had come back to haunt me. I remember him saying, “you don’t like corn? But it is nice.” “Dude, I throw up when I eat corn” was my planned retort. I think I said something along those lines but he convinced me to give it a shot.

Gingerly, I tried some. Shock horror, I didn’t throw up. What? Not only did I not throw up, it actually tasted nice. I guess that is why sweetcorn is clearly written as the product name, lol! Since that day, I’ve not looked back. Corn on the cob is an almost weekly staple in our family diet.

My corn on the cob experience is not dissimilar to our relationship, dating and waiting experience. One bad experience and sometimes we shut down completely, never to try again. Even when we try, we miss out on potentially great relationships and interactions because our lens has been coloured by a bad experience.

All we can see and remember is what happened to us in that bad experience. We believe that all men are like the one man who hurt us even though we know that all men aren’t the same. Pain, especially emotional pain, isn’t rational. When a potentially great person comes along, our mind seeks to find something wrong, so we can say that “I was right! All men are (insert what happened to you).”

We don’t do it intentionally; it is just the way the mind works. The mind seeks validation for what it already knows and once it finds it, it cements what happened to us even further. It is a vicious cycle and one that can hold us back from enjoying the relationships we desire.

What can you do?

  1. Acknowledge what happened to you. You might say, “duh, that’s a no brainer.” For you reading this, it might be but for someone else who is also reading this, it isn’t. They may never have acknowledged what happened to them even though it is or has defined their lives to this point.
  2. Accept that it happened. You can acknowledge and yet not want to accept that you had that bad experience. However, if you want a change for the better, you will have to accept what happened to you.
  3. Begin your healing journey. I believe that you can be instantly healed but I also believe that some things take time, healing included. What happened to you and the years that have passed have caused the pain to become deep seated and a limiting belief. That doesn’t change overnight. Healing can come through dealing with your limiting beliefs or working with a therapist/counsellor to deal with the trauma you may have experienced. The main thing is to want to overcome what happened to you and work towards it.
  4. Be willing to try again. As I’ve already shared, you must be willing to try again if you want what is waiting for you. You won’t know the beauty of a healthy relationship by watching from the side lines or not actively putting yourself out there again. It may not go perfectly the first time and it may go swimmingly well. You’ll never know though without trying; so, please try.

Think of all those years I missed out on enjoying corn on the cob because of one bad experience. By now, I would have become a pro at corn on the cob recipes, if there’s anything like that. Alas, I spent decades avoiding this one food because of one bad batch. Your story might be the same or maybe you’ve had more than one bad experience. It could be consistent abuse as a child, an absent father or being treated badly in your last relationship. Whatever that bad experience was, I want to encourage you today to try again. Not with the same people, certainly not. Give yourself the opportunity to experience a beautiful relationship.


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