The soft chiming of my spoon against my mug is what initially brought T.S. Eliot’s famous quote, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons,” to mind this morning, as it does so many times throughout the year. But today, my musings took me on a surprise tour of recent emotional currents swirling beneath the seemingly navigable waters of my life.
(Yes, old words about spoons and coffee and measuring that I’d heard and thought of a thousand times before, did all that. Perhaps the mental clarity I’ve been experiencing as an amazing benefit of Paleo has helped as well).
What I discovered, though, when I “measured out” out all of my life’s spoons and examined them each, in all their unique and individual complexity, was fairly simple:
I had to accept them all.
All. Of. Them.
Even the broken ones. Even the ones that leave a bitter, metallic taste in my otherwise fantastic coffee. Even the ones that cut my skin when I reach to touch them. The faux spoons. The sporks. Yes, Lovelies, whether I like it or not, all of them are mine, and, therefore, I must accept them. Just the way they are.
And that upset me.
At first. (Because, let’s face it, I’m not really talking about spoons).
Then I realized (thank you mental clarity!) that I have a choice.
Acceptance and active engagement are two very different things. Acceptance is not optional. If a spoon is in my life, it’s there for a reason. I accept that. Active engagement, however, is optional. Just because a spoon is there, doesn’t mean I have to give it my attention. My effort. My best.
From now on I will gladly accept all of my life’s spoons. However, I will be far more discerning about the ones with which I choose to interact.
That bitter-tasting spoon? I won’t put any more effort into lessening the metallic taste with which it contaminates so many great cuppas. Instead, I just won’t stir anymore of my precious coffee with that one! I’ll also never reach for that sharp spoon again. Spork and Faux–the ones who expect engagement but always fail to follow-through? Yes, I’m finished with them, too. Life is too short to continue hurting myself when there are so many better options! Sure, I’ll have to see them every time I open the drawer, but I can live with that.
Lovelies, as you continue on your own life journeys (Paleo, or not), please remember that no matter which spoons you have in your drawers, select the ones you share your coffee with wisely! Your emotional health is important, too! Don’t neglect it!