Many of you have shared with me that you are through a tough time where the problems are coming at you one after another. I know that it is not easy to hear, when you’re putting out fire, that there is a lesson to be learned behind every life challenge. These trials can move us toward greater inner freedom if we see them as opportunities to grow, to evolve. When we can not change the external circumstances then we must change ourselves or change our reaction to these external events.
Allow me to share this parable with you…
The story begins with a young woman who goes to her mother’s house and tells her that her life is so challenging that she does not know whether she can go on. She wants to give up, she is tired of the constant battles. It seems that as soon as one problem gets solved, another one appears.
Her mother brings her to the kitchen.
She fills three cauldrons with water and place each of them on the stove at high temperature. Soon the water starts to boil.
In the first cauldron, she places carrots, in the second, she puts eggs and in the third, she puts ground coffee beans. She lets them boil on the fire without saying a word. After 20 minutes she returns to the stove. She takes out the carrots and places them in a bowl. She takes out the eggs and places them in a bowl. Then she pours the coffee into a carafe.
Turning to her daughter, she said, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs and coffee,” her daughter replies.
The mom brings her closer and asks her to touch the carrots. The daughter touches them and notes that they are all soft. The mother then asks her to take an egg and break it. The woman removes the shell of an egg and observes that it is cooked hard. Finally, the mother asks her to taste the coffee. The woman smiles as she tastes the rich aroma.
The daughter asks, “What does that mean mom?”
Her mother explains that each object has faced the same boiling water, but each one has reacted differently.
The carrot is strong, hard and solid. But after going into the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg was fragile with fluid inside. But after going through the boiling water, the interior became hard.
As for the coffee beans, they reacted in a unique way. After being in the boiling water, they changed the water.
“Which one are you?” Asks the mother to her daughter. “When adversity knocks at your door, how do you answer? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
Think about it?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but who in pain and adversity becomes limp and loses its strength?
Am I an egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the problems? Do I have a fluid mind that becomes hard and inflexible in pain?
Does my shell become unchanged, but my interior gets hardened?
Or am I like a coffee bean? The grain changes the water, it changes the source of its pain. When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor. If you are like a coffee bean, you become better and change the situation around you when things are at their worst.
How do you deal with adversity? Like a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
To be happy, we do not necessarily need life to be perfect (besides it never is!) To be happy, we learn to make the best of what life puts in our path. Whatever storm rages on the outside, connect to your inner stability.