Moldy Peanuts

There once was a little boy who woke up from a terrible nightmare in which he was being abused and bullied by a relative. He was so afraid that he ran from his bedroom and went to the cellar to hide. Unbeknownst to him, however, the door to the cellar closed and locked itself after he had entered and, when we went to leave (after he had calmed down of course) he could not get out. Well, he pounded and pounded on the door and no one heard him, or at least no one came to open the door. He cried and wailed, but no one heard him.

At last he became hungry and went back into the cellar to see what there was that he could eat. The only thing he could find were two rather large barrels of peanuts which he gladly scooped up in both hands and began eating. He also found a water faucet that worked and was able drink all he needed.

Time went on and on. He made a bed of old rags and bags and found a sleeping bag he could crawl in to stay warm, so he slept when he needed. But he kept going to the barrels of peanuts and grabbing handfuls that he could always have handy to munch on, even when they became old, moldy and tasteless. He became so attached to his peanuts and the comfort they gave him that it soon became second nature to him to always hold on to two handfuls of peanuts – even when he was not hungry; even while he was asleep.

One day, when he had gotten used to his dreary life and tasteless peanuts, he decided he was tired of the way things were going and he climbed the stairs of the cellar, determined to get out, even if he had to kick down the door. He was certain that the door was still locked but decided to give it a try anyway and, to his surprise, it turned and the door opened. Even further shocking to him, the room he went into was not familiar to him at all.

Before him was a huge room filled with table after table of all of the most wonderful food he could have imagined. The smell was beyond wonderful, the sight made him drool. At last he was free. At last he could eat wonderful nourishing food. At last he could live! And he rushed to the table holding the empty plates, impatient to begin. But when he got there, he was not able to pick up a plate.

He was still holding on to two handfuls of old, moldy peanuts. He looked around in panic and looked for someone to come help him. No one was there. Then he noticed a sign with simple words, “Let go.” Well, that did not help him at all. How could he let go of that which had kept him alive this whole time when he was alone and abandoned? Hell, he thought, if he had not had these peanuts he would have died! Let go indeed!

Wait, he thought, what if I just put the peanuts on the plate and then loaded this great food on top. Sure, the old and moldy peanuts might get mixed up with the new food and the new food may not taste as good but at least I would have the old peanuts that kept me alive! Anyway, what if the new food wouldn’t keep me alive? What if it didn’t taste any better? What if it spoiled and I couldn’t get more of my peanuts? WHAT THEN???

He looked up and saw another sign this time with bigger letters, “LET GO.” Then he looked around at all of the walls and saw sign after sign proclaiming the same thing, “LET GO, LET GO, LET GO.”

He sighed, and seeing no other alternative he screwed up his courage, counted to three and opened his hands, letting go of the old peanuts.

And then the real fear hit him like a bolt of lightning, he had NOTHING in his hands. From the moment he let go of the old and before he partook of the new – he had nothing, and that was indeed his greatest fear.

The moral of this story is easy. What old moldy peanuts are you holding onto in your life because they are comfortable and because they have protected you and helped you survive? You say you want to change your life. You say you want all of the good things you deserve. You say you want to thrive. If you do then before you can partake of the goodness you must let go of the old. Before you can experience harmony you must let go of that which is disharmonious. Before you can experience love you must let go of hate. Before you can be your truth, you must let go of your lies.

Before you can fully experience who you are you must let go of all that you are not.

Then ask yourself, was my pain just an illusion that I made real in order to learn?

Broken Relationships

This is a post on broken relationships between two individuals; it does not matter if the individuals are married, significant others, or friends. It is not my intention here to “save” a relationship that has run its course but rather to guide ones to creating a positive outcome whether that results in a new and more committed relationship where couples stay together or a positive relationship between the two individuals who are choosing to move on.

During my 18 years of working with families in trouble I often encountered couples in conflict with each other. Sometimes this conflict has ended in divorce. The impact of this conflict and the severing of the relationship can be devastating to the children and the family as a whole. Most of the time the fear, anger and pain is the focus; each side positioning themselves in a right/wrong battle that poisons the entire family.

Most do not realize that even though a relationship has ended, you will always be in a relationship. Of course the dynamics of the relationship will change but everyone has a choice about how that relationship will be experienced:

  • Will you create a harmonious relationship in spite of the fact that you no longer are together?
  • Or will you continue the relationship in pain and disharmony?

[Read more…]

Dreaming Your Whole and Healthy Family

What is your dream, your vision of how you want your family to be?  Do you have one?  If you have one have you shared it with your partner and the rest of your family?  Have you taken the time to firmly anchor your vision by discussing it, agreeing to it, committing to making it real, and living it?  The vast majority of people will answer ‘no’ to those questions for our cultures do not teach that we can create anything and that creation starts from within, not by acquiring the things we believe will create what we want.
[Read more…]

What About Bullying?

A few days ago my daughter asked if I thought her son, who just turned one, was going to be as tall as I am. (I am 6’7” tall and my grandson is off the charts in height and weight for his age – he was 12 lbs 2 oz and 22 inches at birth). I answered that I thought he would end up at least as tall as me if not taller. My daughter voiced her concern that both her children (her oldest is also tall for her age) will suffer some taunts and teasing as they grow older. This got me to thinking about all of the bullying that goes on today; about where bullying comes from and what parents can do to protect their children from bullying as they grow older. [Read more…]

Whole and Healthy Families, A 21st Century Challenge

Throughout the world today people are being particularly challenged by the fast pace of change, the stress of change and the fear of change.  But no matter the challenge, no matter the struggle to keep the status quo, change is here and the speed and impact of that change continues to be more and more dramatic.  The challenge is to move from an old paradigm to a new paradigm.

The impact of this challenge is especially felt within families.  Our current generation of children have a unique role to play in guiding the transition from the old to the new; and, with this role, they face the conflict between tradition and innovation; between the drive to be successful (however that is interpreted) and the drive to follow their own path; between control and allowance; between anger and forgiveness; between the need to please parents and the drive to be themselves; between acceptance/approval needs and self-acceptance; between hate and love.  These children come armed with enhanced abilities to achieve this collective purpose.  They have unique talents, they are often hyper-sensitive emotionally, they have a unique sense of compassion, and they have an enhanced desire not to conform to the old. [Read more…]