(a.k.a. The truth that set me free.)
(This reflection was originally published in July, 2010)
A strawberry blonde, freckle-faced six-year old with pigtails in the school lunchroom. And it’s the one day a week that chocolate milk is served.
Reason for celebration?
For most kids, yes. But not for this particular first grader. You see, she doesn’t LIKE chocolate milk. She doesn’t like chocolate pudding or ice cream or chocolate chip cookies or brownies either.
Instead of being all excited like the rest of her classmates, she’s bummed. And worried. Because if she doesn’t drink her milk, she’ll get in trouble.
So she asks the classmate sitting next to her if she wants it.
Can you guess the response?
Suddenly, this freckle-face, pigtailed first grader is the most popular kid in her class – at least on those days when something chocolate is on the menu.
That first grader was me.
Now – fast forward to this past Sunday, forty years later. I was replying to a comment on a blog by Andrea J. Lee that used chocolate as a metaphor. Andrea told me that something was like “creamy center in chocolate that melts in your mouth.”
So I responded as I always respond – cracking a little joke about why that wouldn’t work for me because…
You guessed it…
“Because I don’t like chocolate.”
Only this time I HEARD what I had been saying all my life. And a fog lifted.
- I thought about the cups of hot chocolate (with whipped cream) I like to have with my girlfriend Amy. (Explained away by me saying “I had to really LEARN to like hot chocolate.”)
- Then I thought about how I used to love Milk Duds. (Again, explained away by me saying “the caramel makes it okay”.)
- Then I thought of the Tootsie Rolls I ate during my workshop in May. (Always quick with an explanation, this time it was “Well, I don’t really like them but it was all that was available and I was hungry”.)
Suddenly I saw the contradiction between what I had been thinking and saying all my life and my behavior.
Going deeper, I realized that a belief I had about myself – that in some way DEFINED me – was suddenly suspect.
And so I did something I have never consciously done – ON PURPOSE.
I went to one of the best homemade chocolate stores here in Wisconsin Dells (it’s helpful to leave near a tourist mecca) and I, Teresa Romain, proceeded to buy myself some chocolates. In fact, I even asked a bunch of question about chocolate and learned some fascinating things.
I bought a piece of white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. And I bought a dark chocolate and a milk chocolate Turtle.
And then, going against a lifetime pattern, I proceeded to eat each one.
And here’s what I discovered.
I REALLY LIKE milk chocolate.
White chocolate is a bit too sweet for my liking – but I can eat it.
And I don’t like dark chocolate – unless it’s surrounded a yummy gooey caramel. Then I don’t mind it – AT ALL.
So, hear this world…
I, Teresa Romain, like chocolate!
It still feels funny to say or think that after all these years.
In truth, I’ve even experienced some grief and sadness – after all, I had defined myself as someone who did NOT like chocolate for a long time. And, quite frankly, I got a fair amount of attention as a result – beginning way back in first grade.
But I also missed out on being able to fully and freely enjoy chocolate AND the REAL ME that likes chocolate – MILK chocolate.
(Which – LOL! – tastes completely different than chocolate MILK!)
Now here’s what this whole experience has to do with prosperity and our ability to access abundance in our lives.
It got me to wondering… and now, I hope, gets you wondering…
What other inaccurate beliefs have I held onto for years that I have never questioned? What are the scarcity thoughts or beliefs I have that have DEFINED me and, in the process, limited me?
And what are the “lies” or rationalizations I keep telling myself as a way of hanging onto those limiting, scarcity-based beliefs – despite evidence to the contrary?
After all, if I did it with chocolate – I’m pretty sure I’ve done it with money and success and business and relationships and life. I’ve definitely done it with myself and who I think I am.
What would happen if I actually started to question those beliefs… and try something different?
What would I discover that I could have and be and enjoy? How could prosperity flow more freely into my life?
I’ve already come up with several for myself – and I’m starting to “check them out” just like I did my belief about chocolate this past week.
But now it’s your turn…
What are some of the beliefs that you’ve had for years – especially from childhood – that you’ve never stopped to question or check out? What are things you’ve never done or tried or experienced as a result of some belief you’ve had or preconceived definition of yourself?
Care to share any of them here? I’d love to hear… and might share some of mine with you.
More importantly, are you willing to question them now? Are you willing to see if they are true and accurate and apply to you? Are you willing to discover that you might “like chocolate” after all?
Because if you are, you’ll create an opening for more prosperity to enter your life – just like it has in my life this past week. In the form of chocolate (and other things!).