Making Pancakes

By Greg Baer M.D.

August 15, 2016

I received the following letter recently:

“We are a pancake family. Love ‘em. For birthdays. For guests. After sleepovers. Saturdays. Any excuse. I've made so many pancakes in my life that I make them with ease. Yet hardly ever does the first pancake come out right. It sticks to the pain. Or breaks into pieces. Or it forms a creepy, lumpy, not-so-pancake mess. Then I simply dump it into the trash, pour in the next ladle of batter, and all the pancakes after that are just as pancakes should be. Pancake heaven. I'm so used to the first pancake being unusable that I don't give it a moment's thought. I think of it as the one the primes the pan.

“It's often like that with our thoughts. The first thought we have about a thing can often be, well, less than helpful. If the first thought isn't happy and peaceful—a judgement, an angry reaction, a victimy thought, a flare into drama—I know it’s just the first pancake, which is distorted by fear, pain, and habit. Regrettably, unlike with the first pancake, we hardly ever just throw it into the trash. No, we get caught up in it, dive into it, explore it, give it energy, make it mean something about us, treat it as if it IS us. Usually we make it mean we are bad, unlovable, unworthy.

“Nope. The first random thought is just a pancake, and if it's not loving and productive—as it so often isn't—we can simply throw it out and move on to a second thought of our choosing. We can choose to think without the influence of emptiness, fear, and pain. We can choose to live on the new planet where we are loved and worthy, where have everything we need and feel grateful.

“It’s a choice. We can poke at the first awful pancake, or we can throw it out and create the kind we like. Yum.”

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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