THE BLOG
07/31/2013 04:23 pm ET Updated Sep 29, 2013

Sharing vs. Not Sharing

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For Sadhvi

To share, or not to share? That is the question. I can't tell you how many times I've said to my family "NO SHARING." Especially when it comes to food--my food, specifically. Maybe it's a lingering holdover from my childhood with four brothers and sisters and no sense of boundaries between us. Or from having kids constantly hanging off me and eating off my plate. To me, the height of serenity is to have my own plate of food with no one else touching it. Sharing food is even worse when you're at a business dinner when everyone is "sharing" and everyone is tentative about how far to dig into something and who gets the last bit. Especially when it's sticky toffee pudding cake! No sharing! I've never been the kind of girl to share clothes with girlfriends, or shoes either (Eww!).

And yet, here I am sharing with you. Some would say over-sharing. I tell you many of my foibles and deep thoughts as if you were all my best friends ever and trust that you will honor my honesty (which you all do!!! Yay for that! Thank you!).

Sadhvi commented on my blog about blogger's block about his/her own blog about sharing and not being sure if he/she wants to share anymore. And that got me thinking about my own weird views about sharing. I mean, why do I want to share some of my deepest thoughts but not my food? Is it because it doesn't involve the transfer of germs? Even good germs?

Did you know that kissing (the mouth-to-mouth kind--you know, the French kind) shares as many as 10 million to 1 billion bacteria? Which made me think that sharing is really a form of intimacy and connection. We all have different comfort levels and boundaries about what feels good to share and what doesn't. For me, sharing food on my plate feels bad, and yet I love to cook for others and share food in general. Just don't eat off my plate, please! Kissing (the mouth-to-mouth kind) is reserved for exclusive use, and I am still in favor of it. But...when it comes to ideas, I'll talk to anyone about anything if they'll listen or read. Everybody is different. I'm sure there are over-sharers with food and under-sharers with talking. That's what makes life interesting, isn't it?

Genuine sharing, not forced sharing, is what it's all about. If sharing is a joy and pleasure, go for it. If it's not, examine that. Question it. Do what feels right. Embrace intimacy and connection when true sharing happens.

Please know, though, that if ever there were truly a person in need or a starving kid, I'd be the first to give them the food off my plate!

OK, time to share: What do you love to share and hate to share?

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com