Patricia Coleman - chronicles

Carrot Egg or Coffee??

It’s a funny thing … the ways in which we deal with challenging circumstances.

We all have them…health…relationship…finances…violation…etc.

Everyone of us.

Some more than others … or so it seems.

And yet what if there were a gold nugget, just for us, inside each challenge.

If we can be aware and open enough …

And maybe courageous enough to look deeply at something that is a source of pain for us.

Without shrinking and dissolving into mush.

Or hardening our hearts for fear of further pain.

The piece below is a wonderful practical and grounded little story about just that.

How it is truly possible to digest any situation in which we find ourselves.

Make lemonade from lemons as the saying goes.

And how it is a choice we can make once we are aware of the possibility.

It has been said that “All Suffering turns to either Bitterness or Beauty”

It IS a choice.

And one can always make a new choice in favour of Beauty even after living Bitterness for a while.

Enjoy this little tale

The author is unknown to me

I thank you, whoever you are


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. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and 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.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but 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 through 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 a 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 worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle Adversity? There is no wrong answer, no judgment. It is what it is.

So how would you LIKE to handle it?


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