“Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.”
This may be one of the weirder analogies I’ve come up with, but it keeps coming up in my mind, so here goes!
You’ve been given a sack of potatoes. You love potatoes! This is awesome! What a fantastic gift! You’re so grateful and each potato feels like a blessing in your hands. That’s what this is, a huge sack full of blessings!
You bring it over to your table. As you go to set the sack down, your gaze is drawn to all the nicks, scratches, dents – and in some areas even permanent marker graffiti filled with sadness, despair, and a bunch of negativity that’s happened in your life. You’re reminded of all the reasons that life is difficult. Every mark on that table is mocking you, it would seem, glaringly pointing out your flaws, your mistakes, your misfortune.
Here’s where it becomes a “Choose Your Adventure” story. Option 1: You get angry, fed up with life, sick of the strife that has befallen you.
The rage boils up from deep within you. Before you realize what’s happening, you’re hurling the sack above your head and slamming it onto the table over and over again – screaming at the nicks, dents, the chipped edge and the nasty reminders scrawled all over the surface. With each blow, your rage increases. The indignities are overwhelming, and bits of potato squeeze through the mesh of the sack. Starchy, goopy water with flecks of white are covering your table now. Not only has it made a mess, but the beautiful potatoes inside the sack are getting beaten up, hurled about. What was once a bountiful and beautiful harvest is now bruised, cracked, misshapen. What’s more, aside from the gross, sticky, filmy residue – there’s not a thing wrong with the table. All the rage in your heart didn’t erase the graffiti, didn’t smooth out the nicks. It just ruined your potatoes and gave you more mess to clean up.
Here’s where Option 2 starts: Recalibrate yourself back to the initial excitement you had about the potatoes.
What a blessing they are!! You set them down on the table and get to work, there’s no time to lose! You make them mashed. You make them into french fries. You bake them, then bake them again! You fill your table with a variety of splendorous spuds. Au Gratin, chips, hasselback, gnocchi, rosti, PANCAKES! There are so many dishes on your table that you can’t see any of the imperfections. You invite your friends, your family to enjoy the deliciousness of your good fortune. You save some aside and you plant them, cultivate them into even more blessings. You share them with neighbors, and with the local homeless shelter trying to scrape together their next soup night. You forget all about the marred surface of your table, and feel thankful that you have a sturdy foundation from which you can serve.
I know which option I choose – and I realize that it must be a conscious choice. Every day I must gather my blessings close to me and fill my heart with gratitude, letting it overflow and pour out into the world wherever I am and to whomever I’m with.
Also? I friggin love potatoes.
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