Sunday, March 15, 2009

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...

On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 2:43 PM, Edwina Wood wrote:

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. T urning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting throug h the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter.

'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their w orst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are the greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg. or a coffee bean?

Dear Mom,
Thank you for this letter. It took me a few days to finally open it up and read it but it seems to have been at the right time for me to read it. As I read each description, I would think, "Oh, I am the carrot, but then maybe the egg, but I don't so much feel like the coffee most of the time." I am taking a look at my world and the problems I perceive to be overwhelming me. I am trying to change my point of view as well as the problems as I perceive them. I am learning to be more thankful for what I have instead of focusing on what I may be losing. I know we have all been told to prepare for the worse but I am not so sure that is always the best way to look at a future bad situation. What may be perceived as the worst may actually be a hidden best, but if I prepare for it to be the worst, well then it probably will be. I am trying to change what is in my spirit and accept what has been put before me. I am tallying up what I feel are my troubles and I am writing out their solutions so that whenever they start creeping in my mind to cause me grief, I can say to them and myself, "You are no longer a problem, you are a solution. You are a new challenge/adventure/project and I can handle you." I keep telling myself that I am looking forward to meeting these and marking them off my list and eventually throwing this list out. If in the future I have to make a new one then I will but these issues won't be on it. I feel I have been vulnerable in the past and have let others influence me in my emotions. I have had time within my self created shelter to listen, ponder, and think upon all that has been going on. I am reborn anew with new strength within my soul and heart in my spirit. I am me and I now know who that is. I was the carrot, I was the egg, but now I am a strong, black coffee bean ready to brew any boiling water that comes my way. Thank you for your care, concern, and most of all your help as I went through this change. I love you.