Monday, November 25, 2019

The Chocolate Bar Story

Did I ever tell you the chocolate bar story? It was a pivotal moment in my life.

I was 9 years old, one of 3 kids. We had all we needed as a family, but luxuries were saved for special. Dad had a sweet tooth and sometimes brought home a family sized chocolate bar to share. 5 people. 6 pieces of chocolate in the bar. Someone always got a second piece. 

It never seemed to be me. 

In the past, I'd waited patiently and hoped, I'd asked politely, I begged, I cried because I believed it was my turn, and still came up empty. 

This time, I looked at the chocolate, and realized there was no point in asking for the extra piece since it would just leave me feeling disappointed. It was a warm summer evening, not my turn to wash dishes, so I wandered out into the back yard with my single piece of chocolate melting in my mouth, wondering what I was going to do next.

Dad came out the back door a minute later, and gave me the 6th piece of chocolate.

Even my young 9 year old brain knew this was an Important Life Moment. So I tried to wrap my mind around it while the second piece of chocolate melted in my mouth.

I realized that in order to get what your heart desires, you have to let it go. A tough concept at any age. It meant I had to stop wanting it. But I did want it. It was chocolate. I just actively stopped wanting it, I realized. I stopped spending energy trying to make something happen that wasn't going to happen. 

It was a life changing moment. 

But then, my young brain wondered, "If I use this technique for getting what I want, doesn't this mean I still want it? That the technique itself is another attempt to manipulate the circumstances to get what I want?" 

No, because I really was fine about not getting that extra piece of chocolate. I would have been happy even if it had gone to my brother.

What a great gift to see this so young.