Life is like a pickle jar
Have you ever arrived at your cupboard door with a pang of hunger and a desire to fill that hunger like no other.
Maybe it's the middle of the night or mid-day, or you've gotten home from a busy day at work or school, and you just gotta have something tasty and quick. The first thing that comes to my mind in circumstances such as these is having a pickle. You could name it whatever your craving might be for, but the only barrier between you and filling that craving is the lid on a glass jar.
Reaching for a brand new jar and firmly gripping jar in one hand and the lid in the other. You initiate the turn with a little effort, then a little more effort and maybe even bracing the jar into your hip and giving that lid all the gusto your nutrient reduced muscles can muster. You pause, take a breath or two, think to yourself that "you've got this, no one else here and I need to do this." You reassert all you can draw up from your body to get this lid off, and it still does not budge.
You then have a few options... 1. you can just leave it alone and find something maybe less healthy and more easily attainable to munch on. 2. you might get creative and use the handle of a table knife to knock around the lid a few times to loosen the stickiness of the jar. 3. you might run to find someone to ask for help and get them to unscrew it for you. OR 4. You lean into it a bit more and see if it just takes a little more patience and focus.
This was the topic of conversation with a friend of mine today. We were sharing about how, in our emotions, we can, more times than not, sidestep them to try and find easier emotions that aren't so ... emotional. Maybe it's moments of fear or sadness or loneliness... and we'd much rather find joy and happiness in some form of distraction, rather than being with and dealing with hurtful and challenging emotions and feelings we need to resolve. Like the analogy of opening a pickle jar I said. When I'm trying desperately to get through a situation, do I lean into it, or just give up too easily.
The other steps in the process of the pickle jar are equally valid: 1. running away from the situation. 2. get creative and be open to other solutions to working with the challenge. 3. Ask for help, either figuring it out through teamwork, or letting someone else solve it for us (thus negating getting to the heart of the problem ourselves). OR 4. Do we lean into it and persevere with the feelings that arise and learn to not give up so easily when the going-gets-tough... or tougher.
Where do you find your "pickle-jar-experiences" in life?
I've looked at this through the lens of my own life, and especially in these days of pandemic that have offered me MUCH time of self-reflection and inner-work; and I've really tried to focus on each of those scenarios I've taken with challenging situations in my life. Realizing that the times that I've leaned into the situation with more intention and attention, the more rewarding the outcome was. I've learned so much from sticking through the course of it to reach the other side. And yes... the tasty reward of a pickle is marvelous and satisfying, but the work that I needed to do to get there, makes each time opening the jar again, that much easier.
So too is life and the learnings of each challenging moment I've encountered. That every time after that, it might be a bit different circumstances, but the lessons of the work getting through the ones previously have taught me how to be resilient and courageous in seeking the best outcome possible.
Wishing you a tasty and nourishing outcome for as many as you can possibly have.