No Cashew Chicken

Forest Gump says,” life is like a box of chocolates”.  I also think it is like cashew chicken, when you only get one cashew.

Lots of options for how to deal with the cashew less chicken it seems. Obviously, it really got me thinking, and it parallels much of life. You know, how we think we are getting one thing and we get another. Or we think it should be one way, but it is not even close. How often are we disappointed when the relationship was not what we thought, or the friend completely ghosted us, when we needed them most, or the cake we ordered for dessert, wasn’t worth the calories? Then what?

Do we walk on, because forward is the direction of our best life? Probably the best option. Its messy work to make sense of our problems sometimes, but we must to become the person we were meant to be, in order to live the life we are meant to live.

Its silly for us to think we are entitled to a life with no bumps in the road. Attempting to put ourselves above the fray through entitled thinking, isn’t going to protect us from the bumps. It wont keep us from disappointment. This comes to us all. So we can be here in our struggles, and know that acceptance has everything to do with sitting with our problems, and bearing witness to them all. Happiness is about not getting all tangled up in life. It’s about our awareness, acceptance and moving forward anyway. In spite of.

We don’t always get the cards we feel we are entitled to, and so we must play the ones we are dealt. Oh and with a smile, it works better this way. Smiling releases happy chemicals in our brains, and can actually lift our mood. Life doesn’t tease, it takes whatever it wants, and sometimes, we never get it back. What if the secret to life is enjoying it? No matter what. Letting go of our expectations and the shoulds, coulds and oughts.

And so, overcoming disappointments is a decision, and cashews are not a hill I am willing to die on. Things don’t always line up in our version of order.  Our ego becomes dismayed, when it has to surrender to circumstances that don’t line up with our entitlement. This is the cause of our suffering, our entitlement. We drop the expectation of smooth sailing, and our attachment to entitlement, and we accept reality, with all of its surprises. We let go of our opinions. Peace is not the absence of disappointment but the ability to cope (Fulgham).

No one is going to rescue us from our struggles. They come and we have to survive them. We have to endure them. We must walk on, and be better because of them, and move as close as we can to our best self , living our best life. When disappointment comes, it’s not where our stories end, its only where it takes an unexpected turn. Living is one thing and one thing only. It’s doing what you must do.

We make difficult things more difficult than they need to be, because of the story we tell ourselves. The narrative is everything. The narrative we create to explain injustice. What if you can’t make sense of the bad things, but you can make sense of yourself ? That is enough. Have new eyes. Life is a fabulous unfolding.

Find a way to believe in life. Be the one who doesn’t give up. The best thing to do with life, is to live it. Tackle it. Realizing that you will live well, not in spite of your struggles, but because of them. Realizing you would not select these obstacles, but you sure are grateful for what they have taught you. Be resilient. Be brave. How would your life be transformed if you chose to see it in new ways? The greatest truth is in the lesson learned. When we fail to learn we become bitter, angry, tiny hearted people.

The most amazing, and horrible, and lovely things happen in life. Someday, this thing that hurts you so deeply, will not hurt as much. Whatever happens to you, belongs to you, own it. Let it grow you. Because it will. After life deliver what it delivers, we must live our lives. Can we change it? The short answer is no. The long answer is also no. There are so many things to be dismayed about, so many struggles in this life. Don’t let one cashew be one of them.