By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(January 23, 2019)
I learned a lot from the peach tree we had in the backyard of our former house.
I like to compare the layers of a peach to gratitude. The skin or outer surface can be likened to surface gratitude — thankfulness for nice things, our material possessions. They make life comfortable. We appreciate that large, flat-screen TV, the new car, or the new patio furniture. And we feel grateful for our jobs and our businesses that create incomes to fund these material possessions.
Underneath the skin lies another level of gratitude represented by the flesh of that peach. Here we incorporate thanks for the juicy-ness beneath the outer layer of material possessions, for the sweetness of relationships with family and friends. Here our hearts swell with gladness at the deliciousness of sunsets, butterflies and canyons. And here lies the satisfaction of emotional, psychological and spiritual growth.
There exists yet another level – a deeper one – called the pit. Pits are hard and rough-textured. They represent the grief, sadness and sometimes despair of hardship or loss. Most of us don’t associate the pits with gratitude. Here it’s really challenging to say thank you.
It’s possible to cultivate a sense of gratitude even for the pits. To have this depth of thankfulness requires surrender to the realization that goodness permeates everything, even those situations that we want to label “bad” or “terrible” or “this-never-should-have-happened.”
Within the peach pit contains lies the potential for new life. When you plant it, a whole new peach tree emerges. At the center of the deep challenge represented by the pit resides a silent, deep space from which peace and gratitude take root. Herein lies the gift within pain and heartache.
You may have gone through a painful experience and noticed that something new grew out of it. Maybe you realized a new career, a sense of freedom, or a great relationship. Perhaps you gained an ability to help others or a new quality of character and strength.
To accept any of these gifts, we must be willing to surrender to the discomfort of loss or hardship. We must make friends with it and know that, at the center of the pain, there exists a peace that doesn’t depend upon outer circumstances for its existence. Only then can we express thanks for the full gamut of experiences – all the branches we call our life.
May you know gratitude even in the deep pit of challenging circumstances.