accepting the good
Last evening Jack and I helped my mother move a piece of furniture. As we were leaving she said, “There was a sale on corn at Price Chopper. It isn’t local, but it was 20 cents an ear so I bought you a dozen when I was shopping on Monday. I hope it is still OK.” In the past, my first thought would have been, “That corn has to be at least a week old! I cannot even imagine how it will taste. Why does she do things like this?”
Years ago, I was listening to a workshop tape and the leader said that a woman, in one of her previous workshops, was very distressed because not only was she “battling cancer”, but her mother kept sending her wheat grass juice to drink, even after she told her that she didn’t want it, because she had read that someone had been cured of cancer by drinking it. The woman asked the presenter how to handle her mother’s apparent lack of respect for her choice of treatment for her cancer.
The leader said, “Just take the love, and throw the wheat grass juice out.” (and she didn’t say it with a lot of kindness, it was more in the tone of, “Oh, get over yourself!). What a beautiful concept, “Take the Love”… from any gift, and then give the gift away, or throw it out, or keep it, or eat it, …it doesn’t matter as long as I accept the goodness.
I genuinely thanked my mother for the corn (for the love). I think that there were a few happy squirrels and chipmunks in my yard last night too!
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I saw this little wooden box a few months ago, at a second-hand store. It looked just like a friend of mine’s dog so I bought it, feeling almost giggly at my purchase…couldn’t wait to give it to her. As the days passed, when I looked at it, I found myself thinking, “What if she doesn’t like it? What if she thinks it is kind of dumb and now doesn’t know what to do with it? What if it becomes a sort of burden because she won’t want to give it away, if she doesn’t like it, for fear when I visit, I won’t see it?” I put it away in the cupboard by my desk.
The other day, I took it out and put it on my desk. It is totally useless…or is it? At one time, it made me smile…until I started thinking that it wasn’t “good enough”. It reminded me so much of life…of the unique gifts that we all have and how sometimes we hide these for fear that they are “nothing”, not good enough, saying things to ourselves like, who would want “it” anyway?
I don’t know if my friend will like this little box or not. What I do know is that I love buying little gifts and giving them….it is a part of who I am and of what makes life feel full and rich to me. So, what do you and I have that we have been hiding? What talent, ability, perspective or personal quality that feels too unusual, or too insignificant, to be wanted by the world?
Maybe we should name today, April 5th, National Coming Out of the Cupboard Day…sing that song to someone, apply for the job that you really want, ask that guy out, bake that special dish and invite someone over to share it, smile at someone even if they have never smiled back, give that little box to your friend …
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