I just returned from a week of vacation in Albuquerque, NM at my sister’s celebrating my Mom’s 80th birthday. It was a full week of touring the region. My sister is an artist so part of the time we spent visiting the Art Galleries in Santa Fe and looking at all of her works that she houses in her studio. It was a good time. We also went to Chimayo to visit the El Santuario a very old Catholic church with a mystical history of a glowing crucifix and sacred dirt that heals. While in the village we met a vendor who was selling various dried chilipowders. He was having people try his concoctions by placing a pistachio in the mouth to get the mouth watering then taking a shellful of the chili elixir. Those of you who know me, know that I claimed to be highly allergic to pistachios and told him this. To which he responded, ” You mean, you used to be allergic to pistachios. You are no longer.” No, I told him I am allergic, to which he politely disagreed and asked me to repeat after him, ” I used to be allergic to pistachios.” I did so.
He did not insist that I take a pistachio but did allow me to try his green chili mixture with out the required nut. It was wonderfully blended. I was the last one to purchase his wares. So he began chatting with me about his insisting that that I used to be allergic. He stated that words are alive. They only offer two things to the world, blessings or curses. We have control over what we offer. And we tend to believe what we say to be true. So why would we state things that are curses? When we state things that are negatives, we are cursing. When we state things that are positive we are offering blessings. Which would I prefer to receive? Well, blessings of course. So for me to state that I am allergic to pistachios is a curse that I offer to myself. Yes, he said, I had a reaction to them years ago, but my body is constantly renewing itself, couldn’t it have renewed itself no longer allergic? Why propagate something that may no longer be true? Well, he had me. So he asked me to repeat the affirmation that “I used to be allergic to pistachios.” He threw in an extra flavor of chili seasoning in my bag for my willingness to listen to him and sent me on my way.
A few days later, my family was eating lunch in Old Town Albuquerque at High Noon Restaurant. It is a wonderful cafe. When our lunches were delayed in coming, the cook had the staff prepare a salad for our table with apologies. It was a delicious green salad with a feta and green chili vinaigrette dressing. As we are eating, my mother announced, “Fred, there are pistachios in the salad.” I had already taken several bites of the salad so it was too late. I stated, “I used to be allergic to pistachios.” and continued eating. Years ago, I would have gotten deathly ill. This day, I felt fine. Was it the words of affirmation and blessing, the vendor had me say? Was it the sacred dirt from El Santuario? Was it simply that a childhood allergy had been outgrown? I don’t know. I am simply grateful that I am well and my time with my family was spent in well-being.