photo credit: 9557815@N05 via flickr
The Sand and The Oyster
Once upon a time there was a tiny grain of sand looking for a place to rest. It found the belly of his friend the oyster a perfect place to settle down.
The oyster didn’t like that a bit. It itched. The oyster tried to ask it to leave, but the little grain of sand was quite happy in it’s new home.
Being sly the oyster asked, “What if I gave you a blanket?”
“Oh that would be nice. You are such a gracious host,” said the oyster.
With that the oyster started covering the grain of sand with layer upon layer of “blankets.” Soon the little grain of sand was transformed into a beautiful pearl and the two lived harmoniously ever after.
The grains of sand in your life
Do you have grains of sand in your life? Those little things that drive you crazy?
Maybe it’s the kids running around after school. Maybe it’s living with your elderly parent (this is one of mine, I must confess). Maybe it’s something at work.
What if you thought of those small irritants as pearls in the making? The oyster had to change it’s perception of the little grain of sand. Instead of thinking of it as an intruder, it welcomed it. It made it comfortable and ultimately made himself comfortable as well.
I’m not recommending you coat your irritations with polyurethane. Instead explore them. Look at them in a different light. When you do, you have the capability of transforming not only the irritant, but yourself in the process.
One of my father’s favorite things to watch are war movies. Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t get it. All the shooting, killing, yelling, stress. Let’s just say it’s not my idea of spending a perfect two hours.
Then one day on vacation, I had a revelation.
My father was born in 1937. He was only 4 years old when America went to war. For the next 5 years, that’s was his world.
Think about the things that comfort you. I’ll bet their origins were from the days when you were a small child. Therefore, WWII was and probably is a comfort zone for my father. He doesn’t see the killing going on. He sees the heroes of his childhood playing their parts.
My father couldn’t serve in the military because of a medical condition. He never experienced true warfare. Therefore he watches the movies still as a child, not as an adult. I’ll bet without even knowing it, he is reliving his childhood.
Now when he watches war movies, I have a bit more tolerance. I understand where it’s coming from. I understand why these movies mean something to my father.
The pearl is born.
No longer are war movies an irritant. I know I can watch something else when he wants to watch his movies. I know they mean something different to him than to me. I’ve accepted it. Blessed it an moved on. I’ve started to create a pearl.
What if the irritant is you?
Believe it or not, the irritant is always you. You are the oyster. It’s your smooth muscle that itches and aches. The sand wasn’t bothering anyone on the beach. It’s when it took up residence in the oyster that things changed. The difference is you.
Sometimes, however, something that never bothered you before can become irritant. This is because you’ve changed in someway. You’ve changed your likes, habits, motivations, whatever and what was once comfortable, now has become an irritant.
What do you do?
The answer is still the same. You need to look at it from a different perspective. Bless it. Move on. The worse thing you can do is mull it over and over. That creates more irritation, less relief.
Notice what seems to rub you the wrong way. Then start to look at it from a different perspective. Notice the changes in the irritation. Beware of your brain wanting to rehash the situation. Let that go and begin to look at things new.
Make this the year of creating beautiful pearls.