Friday Fodder – Adversity

Once upon a time…

Sarah complained to her father that her life was a complete mess. She didn’t know it was possible to be so miserable in so many ways and she wasn’t sure she could go on.  Sarah was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. She burst into a flood of tears, “It’s just one thing after another, Dad! Am I to be miserable for as long as I live, no matter what I do?” 

Her father, a chef, brought her into the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high heat. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in the first pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word. Sarah moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what on Earth he was doing. 

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners and took the potatoes out of the pot, placing them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in another bowl. He then ladled the coffee out into a large mug.

Dad: “My darling Sarah, what do you see?” 

Sarah (hastily): “Potatoes, eggs and coffee.

Dad: “Look closer”

Dad:  “…and touch the potatoes.” 

Sarah: “Yeah – they’re soft”

Dad: “OK, now take an egg and break it.”

Sarah: “I can’t – it’s hard boiled”

Dad: “Now sip this coffee”

Sarah: “You are sooooo weird Dad, what’s all this for – lunch?”

She took a sip. The rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

Sarah’s dad went on to explain that the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and mushy.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hardened.

But the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something brand new.

Dad: “Which one are you?” 

When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?

Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Moral of the Story:

In life, things happen around us and things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is how you choose to react, and what you make out of it. Life is all about learning, transmuting and converting all the struggles that we experience into something positive.

When you have a sense of going backwards, as if you have boarded a wrong train and can do nothing until it arrives at its destination, you may be tempted to blame or fall into helplessness like Sarah. Indeed, it may not be your most fortunate time but cycles bring change – there will be a return to good in your life. So how do you live through a period of such hindrances?

Contemplate the cycles of nature: what goes up must come down;  nations and their leaders rise and fall; one fashion replaces another. Only our deep inner values are eternal. You need nothing more, you lack nothing. Decide how you can live today with a sense of fun and grace, even when there are delays and frustration. The discipline of smiling in the face of adversity will probably turn the wheel once again to good fortune. When in doubt, get creative!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Affirmation: There is a solution for every problem.

For every problem I create, there is a solution. I am not limited by my human-mind thinking because I am connected to the entire field of universal knowledge and wisdom. I come from the loving space in my heart and know that Pure Love opens all doors. There is an ever-ready power that helps me meet and overcome every challenge and crisis in my life. I know that every issue has been healed somewhere in the world. Therefore, I know that this can happen for me. I wrap myself in a cocoon of love, and know that all is well in my world.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.”
― Haruki Murakami,


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