Cake Pop Envy

cake_pops_standardI’ve seen cake pops on the Food Network or Pinterest, but until last week, at a chocolate-themed gathering of women, I’d never eaten, let alone created, a cake pop.

Even though my girls tried cake pops at one of our favorite restaurants before we moved, cake pops remained in that virtual world—the one that holds lovely treats that claim more work than they’re worth.

Needless, to say, I brought Cocoa No-Bake cookies to this gathering, and when I delivered them to the refreshment table, I eyed the marshmallow-filled glass vase holding a bouquet of white-chocolate dipped cake pops.

Indeed, the Pinterest boards had sprung from the screen and onto this table. I hid my stoneware plate of chocolate lumps and shrunk back quickly so that I could not be identified.

I’ve blogged long enough to recognize the feelings of virtual envy. You see a DIY project, a clever post, or even a pin on a board that creates discontent with your possessions, qualities, talents or gifts.

You rationalize that this is harmless because any resentment you harbor is superficial in this virtual world and not attached to your real, everyday life. Except, that feeling—envy—creates a barrier.

It removes the natural affection, gratitude and admiration for that  person and whatever they’ve contributed. And once you give in to that feeling online, it’s that much easier to feel it crop up in the real world, separating us from real people that we know and love.

That’s how I knew that envy could either separate me from the very women I’d come to meet or subside so that I could enjoy the gift of their talents. I chose to enjoy—or over enjoy—their culinary talents.

But, as I’ve reflected on this incident since, I wondered why the sadness or envy even came? I appreciate those who create and share their very best, in the kitchen or otherwise. And besides, wasn’t this me, eight to ten years ago (not with cake pops, of course)?

I finally confessed my feelings to the cake pop maker, still trying to push them from me.  And she taught me by what she said, Think back to where you were eight to ten years ago.

Yes, changes occurred right about then. And, change brings a different perspective, different priorities and different gifts. Some of those priorities involved behind-the-scenes support that I couldn’t quantify to myself or others.

But in the process of retreat from visible contributions, I learned that quiet affirmation is the only lasting way to know that our offering counts.

Now, change has come, again. Our move brings us into a new circles of women from our neighborhood, church and school community, and it’s not just a virtual one.  My advice to myself is the same as what I’ve been telling my daughter:

Be and give of yourself.

Learn to appreciate others and what they offer.

Act from your best motivations and assume others are, too.

Fortunately, we are more than our visible selves, and so are those we encounter. And like those delicious cake pops, sampling beyond the candy coating reveals the richest part.



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