If This Isn’t Love…

..then I don’t know what love is…

I’m reading Getting to Yes and You Can Negotiate Anything for a class this semester. Both authors are advising me to get in touch with my emotions when negotiating; they tell me to understand the situation from the other side’s perspective rather than my own. This technique will alleviate further tensions and give both parties more chances for mutual gain in a sticky situation.

I couldn’t agree more with both authors’ advice. However, suggesting the technique is one thing, putting it into works is another.

This brings me to my next point: The feminist in me wants to protest, but cliche comments such as “women are irrational beings,” are sometimes true.

From my perspective (Fisher, Ury and Patton would be so proud of my right now for using their technique), I think I’m pretty rational as a female. I’ve rarely, if ever, crossed over the boundaries between rationality and throwing a tantrum. For the first time, however, I felt the urge to be needy and throw a tantrum. I felt entitled to it. Several things happened these past few weeks that broke the solid foundation I’ve tried so hard to build:

1) I felt as if the people I most wanted to divulge my problems to weren’t there or couldn’t be there for me.

2) I kept a lot of these anxieties to myself.

3) I tried exercising to rid my frustrations, only to find myself tired and depressed by the end of the day.

4) I didn’t have any ME time.

5) I felt obligated to please everyone around me.

In trying to balance all these issues in my life, I continued to try to make those around me happy. My quest led to this disaster:

To create this:

To make this:

Chocolate-Chip Cranberries Coconut Oatmeal Nut Cookies

Adapted from VegNew.com

Ingredients:

1/3 cup cashew butter, almond butter, or peanut butter pecan butter (shown in blender disaster above)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sugar or Sucanat (granulated cane juice) 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (try Sunspire brand) Newman’s Own Organics Cranberries
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts unsweetened coconut shreds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a large baking sheet; set aside.

2. Whisk together first five ingredients until very smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine (be sure to mix in thoroughly the baking soda and salt–you may want to stir these into the flour first).

3. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until tops just begin to crack. Remove sheet from oven, and wait 10 minutes before transferring cookies to a plate or wire rack.

I know. I just threw lots of information out to you. Let’s backtrack.

Exhibit A: The blender disaster

I shouldn’t have used our blender because I had lost the rubber ring that held the blades and the blender together. BUT I wanted to bake something special for someone so I thought I would go against my wisest judgement and use our blender to create nut butter.

Note to self: not a good idea.

Consequences:

*I poured some soymilk since the nuts were not blended well enough to secrete oil. Soymilk ended up leaking from the ends of

my blender. I’m surprised the liquid didn’t cause any static electricity…

*I kept scraping the sides of the blender so the batter would continue to blend well but I ended up stopping the machine every 5 seconds because my blender was literally smokin’

Second note to self: Never try making my own nut butter with a broken blender ever again.

Exhibit B: The cookie disaster

I guess my mood wasn’t that good in general that day because I hadn’t slept well the night before either. The bowl of love didn’t quite shine through in the final product.

The cookies tasted too much like wheat flour on the first bite but the nutty flavor and sweetness really came out during successive bites. They tasted as if something was missing.

Just as how I had been feeling this past month. I think I’ve lost a part of myself–the time that I really needed to myself–during my break. In pleasing others, I’ve failed to please myself.

I finally revealed my fears and frustration to someone. I feel lighter after doing so. I never realized that keeping some things to myself would also cause others to feel burdened as well.

It’s hard to think of each situation that involves other people from their perspectives too. In this case, I really thought my approach (to remain closed in) was the best solution but after discussing my feelings, their feelings and the outcome, I discovered other viable options.

Sometimes, it takes a person or two…or maybe just your labor-intensive-wheat-tasting cookies to let you know that you need to step back and reevaluate your situation.

I did put lots of love into this–

It’s just not the best love I can give

so I decided not to give it…for now.

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3 thoughts on “If This Isn’t Love…

  1. hiyao! i didn’t know you had a blog 😉 good thing i was poking around in my blog stats/tracker. now when i need to read something else besides textbooks, i know where to look! happy blogging! glad to have you ❤

  2. I think being empathetic towards others doesn’t diminish feminism in any way at all. If you can remain calm and let someone see you have empathy (even if you don’t agree) can go a long way to stop conflict or allow some sort of compromise.

    Men can be just as irrational as women, don’t you think?

    Sorry about the blender disaster!

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