“The floor is covered with tomatoes” my dinner companion exclaimed. And I turned to look … with the full expectation of seeing some significant ‘spillage,’ by either a patron (for the mode of service there relies on guests carrying their own trays to a table of their choosing), or perhaps a staff member of the establishment. But I immediately saw that what was ’expected,’ was not the case. In fact, what my Friend was pointing out, was the design of the carpet that we were surrounded by. The floor was, quite literally, covered with tomatoes. Big, bright, brilliant tomatoes. Tomato vines that carried the illustrated produce everywhere. There were whole tomatoes; slices of tomato; wedges of tomato; tomatoes seen from their tops; from their sides; bottoms; every possible angle and rendering of a tomato that One could envision … all around us. And I had never known that they were there until the light of Awareness illuminated them to my mind. And I was struck with a realization.
“Doctor Alfred Adler was, once again, right!” I offered. And, as you might expect, my Friend responded with a questioning look. “This demonstrates, so clearly, the truth of what I was fortunate enough to learn, from that late, great Viennese physician (credited as the Father of the theory of “Individual Psychology“), named Alfred Adler. Doctor Adler put forth the theory that states that “Nothing exists … or is ’a Reality’ … to us, until, and unless, we accept it into our individual ’Realm of Phenomenological Awareness.’ Just as that sea of tomatoes that we have had all about us, each and every time that we have dined here, did not exist as a reality to us until you just brought them into your own ’Realm of Phenomenological Awareness,’ and shared their existence, with me. We now know that the name of this restaurant is carried through in the flooring design that we will, never again, be unaware of.” (The name [I know that you are just dying to know, so, My Dear Reader, I will tell you] … is “Sweet Tomatoes.” [grin]) “This illustrates … perfectly … Doctor Adler’s theory.” I continued.
“We all have, at our command, the ability to be cognizant of … or remain oblivious to … every-Thing, and every-One that we share our world with, in every second of our lifetime. And, as you just saw demonstrated in my going over to tell that other Diner how beautifully evident her loving Spirit was, as it was reflected in her countenance … and how her countenance, and its grace, had touched and encouraged my Spirit. Then you saw and heard how a sweet moment of intimate sharing, of life and living matters, evolved from my recognition of a generous and kind Spirit in the young lady who looked after our dinner needs … when I expressed my appreciation of her … to her.”
“Those sorts of opportunities are possible only if and when I first embrace and make ‘Real’ (in my personal ‘Realm of Awareness’), that ‘Phenomenon’ that is that Person. They are, each, a “Tomato” (if you will). A ‘Tomato,” out of a sea of ‘Tomatoes’ surrounding us, that becomes a ’Real’ part of my own ’Reality’ when I chose to become aware … really aware … of them.” This is my mission. This is my quest. To see! To know! To integrate into, and make a vital part of, all that is my personal Truth and Reality, every element and aspect of Life, as I am blessed to be exposed to it.”
“So,” I went on, “you can see that to be judgmental of, or condemning of, your Self … or, heaven forbid, Others … with statements like … ‘How could you behave in that manner, given the circumstances?’ or “Don’t you know that your choices are inappropriate for, or disrespectful of [whatever the example is]?’ … is to make the assumption that you, or the other person in question, were actually aware of the reality of all that you are holding your Self or that One accountable for. When it may very well be, the actual Fact, that those Circumstances or Elements of what you are so aware of at the moment of judgment … simply were not in existence in your own Being or theirs. They, or You, quite simply did not know of the ‘Tomato’ in question, at that moment of decision-making, word-speaking, or notice-taking,” though the big, ripe, red 'Tomato of Circumstance or Fact' is glaringly and unavoidably obvious now.
You see, My darling Reader, there is just so much ‘life-stuff’ demanding a place on our proverbial ‘plate of consideration,’ that for some observer to miscalculate our state of awareness … on any matter … is an altogether very likely possibility … even probability! Hence, I would encourage my Self … and You … to try a bit of respectful consideration with ourselves. A mite of tenderness, perhaps. I would whisper a gentle suggestion to notice some possibilities … some aspects of a situation … some ‘Tomato’ that just may not have been known to us prior to this particular moment in our journey. And instead of issuing an indictment for past failures to think, or speak, or behave in some better fashion … allow some Grace and patient Accommodation that will encourage progressive steps of healthy growth, development, and ultimately … flourishing instead.
This is easily possible … for us all. We can each be a bit more attentive to Life’s opportunities to nurture, forgive, encourage, give succor, and, yes … even love. Those ‘Tomatoes’ of opportunity cover the respective floors of our lives … waiting … wanting … yearning for our notice … and embracing of them. I genuinely hope that You, Dear One, will tenderly give your Self permission to acknowledge new awakenings and revelations in your personal world … every day. I give you my loving promise … You will like the experience … A LOT!
I love You.
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