Hard Coaching Lesson – learned from the mulitation of an English Muffin

So the other morning my hubby was making breakfast and he asked me if I wanted an English muffin with my eggs. YUMMMM! YES PLEASE! We had just bought a package of Pumpkin Spice muffins and I couldn’t wait to give one a try. The anticipation since the grocery store outing had been killing me and this was going to be the crowning moment of pumpkin glory.

As I sat at the table catching up on our ministry’s social media for the morning, the smell of coffee brewing permeated the kitchen. I looked up at my handsome husband happily preparing our breakfast. It was one of those moments in time when life feels perfect. Heart, mind, body, soul….and tummy, all feeling warm and fuzzy.

And then it happened. In an instant, everything changed.

It was the strangest sensation as ‘slow motion’ meshed with ‘it happened so fast I couldn’t stop him in time’. Very weird.

With a knife in one hand and my English muffin in the other, he started sawing down the center, instantly annihilating every nook and cranny, leaving nothing but a shear, flat surface on the inside of each muffin half.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” I screamed………..but it was too late.

Lindon turned and looked at me rather nonchalantly. “What?”

“What do you mean what? You just mutilated my English Muffin - butteredperfectly crafted English muffin. You took away every little butter holding crevice and destroyed the jagged edges which would have transformed into slightly crispy ridges of heaven when toasted to perfection.” So much for my moment of pumpkin glory.

He looked at me like I was crazy. And then he started laughing. Really hard. A loud, belly aching roar. The kind that really irritates me, especially since I can never resist joining in. But I didn’t want to. He was a wrecker of English muffins, and on behalf of English muffin lovers everywhere, I wanted him to understand the seriousness of his infraction.

Which of course, he did not.

English Muffin - separating with forkHuh? How could he not understand? How could he be so unaware of the destruction and devastation he caused? How could he not care? How? How? How? EVERYONE knows English muffins are supposed to be carefully separated with a fork, using a gentle back and forth rocking motion, right? Maybe even pried apart with experienced English muffin separating fingertips, but NEVER hacked away at with a knife. Never ever.

And then it dawned on me. He didn’t understand, was totally unaware and didn’t care because quite simply, it didn’t matter to him one bit whether there was a flat surface or one filled with nooks and crannies. There was absolutely no distinction. It was all the same. This was just the way HE saw it. His personal take.

It might sound like a stretch, but our English Muffin Mayhem really made me think. Something so obvious to me was completely off his radar. How many other situations in life present this same case scenario? Over and over again we find ourselves on opposite sides of the fence with people, disagreeing over ‘this’ or arguing over ‘that’. Sure, there are times when the issues are important and differences must be addressed, but how often do we get hung up on the ‘English Muffins of Life’? The inconsequential personal opinions and wonderfully distinctive characteristics that people bring to the table. Those special attributes which make each of us unique individuals with different likes, dislikes and preferences.

Variety is the spice of life, right? Then why do we get so frustrated, angry and offended at ‘variety’? We go to battle over the most insignificant things. When you stop and consider what’s actually going on, our narrowness is rather unattractive. Think about these examples and note if you instantly feel a preference:

  • Toilet paper under or over (over of course!)
  • You say toe-may-toe and I say toe-mah-toe
  • Night owl vs. morning person
  • Beach vs. Mountains
  • Hugs vs. Kisses
  • Action adventure vs. comedy

I was talking to someone yesterday who was lamenting over a Thanksgiving spent with ‘new’ friends. “They just don’t do it the way we do.” Hmmmm. “Well if that’s true, it’s also true that you don’t do it the way they do either,” I thought. How about a little grace on BOTH sides?

The next time differences crop up, decide if they are an ‘English Muffin Moments”. If so, declutter any criticism, judgment, condemnation, arrogance, selfishness, narcissism and control you might be feeling and celebrate (or at the very least, joyfully tolerate) differences instead of attacking them. Remember, you want someone else to do that for you too.

In the future, I’ll either enjoy my English muffin ‘Lindon Style’, OR I’ll offer the make them myself! Either way, it will always be a reminder how much I really do enjoy our differences and how blessed I am to have a unique and wonderful husband, even if he doesn’t know how to properly separate an English muffin!

Do you need help appreciating the variety in life? Life Coaching can help! Contact Certified Christian Life Coach and ICCA writer Sherry Gareis, co-fonder of Action Plan Ministries at lifecoaching@actionplanministries.com. And be sure to sign up for her weekly blog post alert to the right. See more of her practical approaches to “De-Clutter your life” at: http://actionplanministries.com/my-english-muffin-mutilation#sthash.f59sRX5m.dpuf

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