Even though Diane truly loved Jerry (her husband who is 20 years her senior), she was confronted on a daily basis with something about him she found very hard to embrace: his passion for poppy seed bagels. Since childhood, Jerry has had a love affair with poppy seed bagels. In fact, he enthusiastically devours one nearly every day. Jerry’s slices and toasts his bagel, then takes it into his home-office to relish in its flavor.
Like Hansel in the fairytale, Jerry always leaves a trail of poppy seeds that sweeps across the white-floored kitchen, through the center of the house and into his office. Jerry is aware that he is a bit of “a sloppy Joe.” Although he has often made an effort to clean up the poppy seeds, his cleaning skills somehow never match Diane’s desire to have an utterly spotless floor.
One day Diane was feeling particularly grumpy about something unrelated. As she entered the kitchen and looked down, her level of grumpiness increased a hundred-fold when she found herself swimming in a sea of scattered poppy seeds.
Like she had done every day for more than thirty years, Diane moistened a hand towel and got down on her hands and knees to begin cleaning up the mounds of seeds that had accumulated.
Just once, she thought to herself, I would like to come into the kitchen and not find these poppy seeds. She frowned as she vigorously hand-wiped the floor to her satisfaction.
Sitting back on her heels, a thought struck her through the haze of her own frustration. What if the floor never had any more poppy seeds on it?
As if hit by lightening, Diane suddenly realized, That would mean there would be no more Jerry!
Tears flooded her eyes as she stood up. She gazed down at the poppy seeds that were gritting up her floor. Instead of looking like grains of gray sand, they suddenly looked amazing to her – like little black diamonds that represented everything in her life that was precious and sacred to her. She rushed into Jerry’s study, threw her arms around him and kissed him through tears of joy. He gave her a quizzical, yet loving look as he popped the last bit of poppy seed bagel into his mouth, then brushed the seeds that had landed on his shirt onto the floor.
Today she describes it this way:
“Now, no matter how many seeds I may mop up, I’m very peaceful inside. Whenever I see those poppy seeds, they fill me with so much love and gratitude; and on some days I deliberately leave them and my old compulsive behavior behind as I smile, turn on my heel and walk away.”
It’s been said that we are “meaning making machines,” interpreting events and behaviors to fit our world view. What behavior of your mate’s can you reframe today to not only alter your perception but to empower both of you and add more joy to your lives?
Arielle Ford is a leading personality in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. For the past 25 years she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media. She is a gifted writer and the author of eight books including the international bestseller, THE SOULMATE SECRET and her laest book WABI SABI LOVE – The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships. She believes that with a simple Wabi Sabi shift in perception, couples can discover the beauty and perfection in themselves and their partners leading to a deeper, more loving and more fulfilling relationship. www.thewabisabibook.com
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