She invited me to sit by her at our evening meal and to describe to her what I tasted. I was encouraged to speak to our chef for the week and ask for my portion to be seasoned with extra spices. My “yes” came too quickly and I regretted it immediately.
Eating had long been something I did because my body needed food. I watched others curious, dumbfounded, at times contemptuous and even disgusted as they enjoyed food as if they were making love. Their faces alive and glowing with delight with groans of pleasure as they savored each morsel. I just didn’t get it.
Oh I knew what tasted bad and when it didn’t taste bad. Yet a dish being yummy, scrumptious, mouth-watering was not ever detectable on my palate. Food was food, eaten because it was needed. I ate it as quickly as possible. It never brought delight or pleasure.
So, I went to my room to hide from my yes. My God what had I done? Quick make a plan. You’re brilliant with plans. I could always renege, be sick, and maybe not eat at all. No, no, that wasn’t the answer. There’s something here. I feel it, I know it.
When I went to the kitchen for dinner, there lay in alphabetical order at least 15 spices across the kitchen island. One of my group members had beat me to the chef. “Robyn, I wasn’t sure what you’d like so I laid out several spices for you to choose.” I smothered the pork loin with cumin.
That meal was excruciating. Coached to eat slow and let the food linger on my palate. I really couldn’t taste much of anything and I said so. All around the table were women who were for me. How could I disappoint. I began to describe elementary tastes. In reality not much was there and I confessed that at the end of the meal.
I went home on a quest to redeem my taste buds. Telling my family what was going on was at first disappointing, but when I pursued and explained their sorrow was evident. They were kind and didn’t rush me. It was painful. About a month in I was ready to quit. I was frustrated. No change. But the fighter in me would not let me quit. I began to ask others what they tasted, so very odd and interesting.
Of course there was a good deal more going on than literal taste issues. Lies I believed about pleasure, delight, as well as tasting what is good were at the core of my seared senses. There was much imbedded deep within my childhood story of trauma.
For months I dug into that story, cried out for healing, while eating slowly and taking in the textures and fragrances. Each meal I put crazy amounts of spice on my food, ate slowly, rolled it around on my tongue several times and concentrated. It was an arduous battle. I wanted to give up. That seemed an easy way out; I mean really, I had no idea what I was missing. Yet, I persevered. It seemed an important battle. Somehow worth it in the end and others believed so too.
And then it happened. Four months into the fight when I wasn’t even really trying. My husband Bob and I were out for an intimate dinner. First, I remember really enjoying the glass of wine with tastes of dark berries and a peppery spice. Much to my delight! Then my steak came to the table. My first bite…..Oh my!! The flavors literally exploded in my mouth! I understood the euphoric responses of others to food. It truly was orgasmic as every taste bud stood at attention! I began to cry and Bob joined, much to the dismay of our waiter. How does one explain? I simply and gratefully told him it was the best steak that I had ever eaten. The waiter smiled in relief.
There is more of course, but I will let this simply whet your appetite. I, Robyn Whitaker, am a woman alive to her sensuality…in many beautiful and glorious ways! Oh how I hope you are too. If not, fight for it my friend. It is so very much worth it!
Robyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her beloved husband of 32 years. She has an adventurous heart that is learning to breathe. Lover of truth, seeker of story, aspiring author and newborn dreamer, this mother of three is in search of redemption and living her Kingdom purpose. Robyn writes here. n