The Walk to Self-Realization is apparently paved with candy. Specifically, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, FUN SIZE M&M’s and little Snicker’s bars. Also, Jolly Ranchers, Werther’s Originals, and Twizzlers.
I recently attended a Walk to Emmaus retreat, a three-day spiritual weekend symbolizing when “...Christ appeared to the two disciples who were walking together along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus.” It’s set up to take whatever issue you have (I’m apparently a control addict), rip it out of your heart, fix it and then give you a piece of candy. One of my group mates described it as a pray, cry, eat, repeat.
It was life-changing and incredibly difficult. No fear though, plenty of sweets helped us make the journey. There were bouquets of candy in a pink dishes on our group tables; sprinkles of candy dotting the landscape of the break room; and a rainbow of candy laid out on the table in the back of the conference room. Oh, and just in case you didn’t get enough sweets during the day, little pieces of candy love were left on your pillow for you to find before bed.
Because of the nature of the event, none of us were allowed to have cell phones, watches or anything electronic, so, it says a lot for the confections industry that sweets were allowed to play such a prominent role in the life-changing experience. It was basically chocolate and God that helped us reassess ourselves.
I had to wonder what is it about candy specifically that was meant to help us drop off our emotional baggage and fill our spiritual cups? I think it’s because candy has a way of bringing us back to our childhood, and reminding us of pure joy and quiet comfort. Think of the sheer thrill we felt looking through our stockings Christmas morning or the secret delight of examining our Halloween treats at the end of the day.
Taking that one step further, it’s a way for other people to physically and literally spread joy and peace. The weekend event was run by an extensive support network of people, and those people could easily show us how much they truly loved us by supplying chocolate, licorice and even popcorn. It’s all easier to transport than a hug, more practical to give than a small note and sweeter to devour than a cell phone.
So can I get an Hallelujah for candy? Without it, I might not ever have gone from control addict to recovering control addict. Now excuse me while I organize all my M&M’s by color.