It’s Only Chicken

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It’s Only Chicken

We finally made it to the small bistro-type restaurant in south Minneapolis. Out with another couple, we excitedly perused the menu to confirm that the chicken dish, strongly recommended by prior diners, was still offered.

As the owner/server took our order, our friend confidently ordered the chicken. “I’m so sorry but we’re out of the chicken tonight,” she said apologetically. Our friend emitted an audible sigh of disappointment. “Oh I was so looking forward to the chicken,” our friend mourned in a heartfelt but not whiny tone. “So many people recommended it.”

Silence. “I’m very sorry, sir.”

Disapproving pause. Frown. Eyes staring at the menu. Expressionless face (if that’s even possible!). We shift uncomfortably in our seats, as our friend seems paralyzed by disappointment.

“It’s only chicken,” the server said gracefully, as she turned away. “I’ll come back in a minute when you’ve decided.”

“It’s only chicken” has become a mantra in our house now – even our teenage daughters employ it with their friends (and with us, although sometimes what they think is “only chicken” is more than chicken. And sometimes they’re right! Either way, it’s forced us to re-think what’s really important).

The fact is, some things are “only chicken.” And yet we disproportionately elevate them in importance and in emotional energy, allowing “only chicken” to ruin our day, spoil a moment or bring out the storm clouds – to distort our perspective.

Think of the things that bother you or how you react to the unexpected (or even expected) disappointment. Which of these are “only chicken”? Think of how liberating it would be for you to learn to let go of what is “only chicken.” Think of what letting go would mean to the people around you. It’s a choice you make.

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