My body has been craving fruit. I’ve learned to listen to what my body needs, which caused me to stock up on a variety of fresh fruits. This morning, after my celery juice, I enjoyed a bowl of fruit salad, with all the produce that I bought represented.
Not only was the salad colorful and pretty to look at, it tasted delicious too. Mandarin oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, chopped apple, blueberries and strawberries all contributed their own unique flavors and textures. I savored that bowl of fresh fruit. It nourished my body. Surprisingly, it also gave me food for thought all day.
I appreciated the interesting mix I created. I normally would have had strawberries and blueberries only. Or perhaps bananas and mandarin oranges. They all ended up in the bowl this morning. The crunchy apple complemented the juicy orange segments. The cantaloupe contrasted well with the blueberries.
I thought about how life is like a big bowl of fruit.
Often it is the surprising blend of many components in life that brings the sweetest experience. I chose the fruits that went into my bowl. Similarly, the experiences I have in life are present by way of my thoughts, my beliefs, my attitudes and the choices that I make. My life is what I believe it to be.
If there is a sour bite of orange or a bad chunk of apple in the mix, I don’t feel my fruit salad is ruined. I examine the rest of the morsels for any other pieces that might need to be removed. Or I eat the less than perfect fruit anyway. I view life the same way. One sour person, one bad experience, doesn’t need to ruin my day either. I can correct it, remove it, deal with it, accept it and continue on…it’s all part of my journey.
As I moved through my day, creating my own life version of that sweet and colorful bowl of fruit, thoughts continued to rise. I remembered a quote from the movie Forrest Gump, the well known comparison between life and a box of chocolates. It’s true we never know exactly what we are going to get…especially if we are trying to look ahead.
I also recalled Erma Bombeck’s saying, “If life is a bowl of cherries, then what am I doing in the pits?” A humorous observation from Erma, but I don’t view my life that way any longer.
Suddenly, driving in the car, thinking about a bowl of fruit, a bowl of cherries and a box of chocolate, I uncovered a deeper realization. I saw where my life has shifted dramatically.
I used to be so afraid of the seeming randomness of life….the not knowing what I was going to get if I bit into a chocolate part. A girl hops on her bike to ride down the street…and a car swerves to avoid a cat just as she crosses the intersection, striking her. A man boards a plane to begin his dream vacation…and the plane falls from the sky. A tornado hits a restaurant…where a family decided to have dinner on a whim.
Random occurrences. Randomness…a lack of predictability. That lack of a safe predictable pattern could get me hurt, or worse, hurt those I love. My life was nearly paralyzed not so long ago, by my fear of random events. I couldn’t prepare for those because I couldn’t see them coming. I couldn’t relax and enjoy life, because something bad might happen.
Other people seem to think the same way.
It was because I couldn’t see ahead, and because I believed that my future would be determined, at least in part, by past experiences, that randomness scared me so. My perspective was too small. The story I was living in too constrained. I was attempting the impossible…to change the past and control the future.
As I learned to let go of both, as I learned to bring myself into the present moment, over and over, my fear left. Life can appear so random. I no longer believe that it is. My beliefs have shifted so that I can see a larger story. Everything that shows up in my life is part of an ongoing conversation with the Divine. What once seemed random, and senseless, I now see as intended, as part of my journey. I’m meant to grow and to learn from what comes into my awareness.
Tragedies happen. Things don’t always go the way that I want them to. But they aren’t random events. They have significance and I can look for the deeper truths, the life lessons, or simply accept that this came across my path for a reason, even if I don’t yet know why.
These shifts in my beliefs are what has brought me to this time of surrender in my life. I’m not controlling the future, mine or anyone else’s. I can’t change anything about the past. I can trust in the guidance and the invitations that I receive, without fear or worry. The flow of life, the Divine, will take me exactly where I need to go.
Such as to creating a beautiful bowl of fruit, and discovering that it was more than breakfast. It was a reminder of how far I’ve traveled on this journey. And a promise that there is always more to learn.