Once upon a time, there was a young woman. Her life was full of tribulations and complications. She wanted to give up this constant struggle and spend a serene life. It seemed as one problem solved a new one arose.
She went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed potatoes, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about 20 minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the potatoes 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 you see.”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the potatoes. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She asked her mother in puzzlement, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The potato 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 potato, an egg or a coffee bean?”
Now ask yourself:
Are you the potato that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do you become soft and lose your strength?
Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or are you 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. Are you like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
— guest post (minor edits) from envisioningfuture.wordpress.com