Once upon a time there was a mother with very bad digestive issues who had three children. Instead of going to the doctor to treat her digestive issues, changing her diet to be more gentle on her body, using her excessive poop for fertilizer, or dealing with it in the proper way, the mother would put her poop in bags and hand them to her children. The first child would look at the bags and say, “Mom! Go to the doctor! No, no, no! I have no use for this poop. I don’t know what to do with this poop! Take it back or dispose of it properly.” The mother said, “I don’t want the poop either, and I gave birth to you so that you can take on the responsibility of the poop I don’t want to deal with.” So instead of dealing with it, the first daughter just put the bags of poop aside so that someday she would know what to do with it. She knew where they were, but she kept them far away from her living space as to not be stuck in a stinky environment.
The second child handled things a bit differently. Being the middle child, she was often overlooked, so she valued anything from her mother as a special gift. Although she immediately resisted, she saw how her resistance would be futile. The poop smelled bad and made her wretch when she was around it, but she obeyed and hoarded her bags of poop it in her bedroom.
The third child handled it even more differently. She didn’t get as much poop as the first two children because the mother couldn’t always fill three whole bags at a time. Like the first child, the third child tried to say no, but the mother insisted it was her duty to take it. While she kept some of the bags around her to appear grateful and obedient, she set most of them aside as to not pollute her life with such an awful stench.
Years passed, and the children were grown. During their lives they produced their own poop which they took care of themselves and disposed of properly. However, they had years and years of their mother’s poop that needed to be disposed of. The first daughter packed up all the poop, and left it on her mother’s doorstep, reiterated the explanation from her childhood, and told her mother she would not accept it back. The mother insisted, and the daughter warned her that if she saw the poop again, that would be the last time she’d welcome her mother into her life. Needless to say, the mother tried to push the poop back to her daughter, but the mailman kept delivering it back with a “return to sender” label on the box. The daughter moved away, and severed her relationship with her mother.
The second daughter had lived in the filth of the poop so long that she didn’t know any better. While she hated the alienation from family and friends because she smelled so bad, she didn’t have the courage to tell her mother that she didn’t want the poop. She was obedient but bitter, so instead of giving the poop back to her mother, she took her anger out on those people who were repulsed by the way she smelled. Her thoughts and feelings were so clouded by the overwhelming smell that it started to make her angry and treat herself and others badly because she didn’t know how to escape.
The third daughter did something entirely different. For a long time she started re-gifting those piles to other people. One by one, she’d leave a bag with other people to take care of. It made her feel better to get rid of the horrible smell, people could usually absorb a bag here and there, but it wasn’t all gone, and people were getting upset. Recognizing what she was doing, she collected up the rest and return them to her mother.
The mother was livid. She went around telling all of her friends and family that she had given her children great gifts, and the second child was the only one who excepted her gift. She did it publicly, and tried to shame the other two children into receiving the poop back in their life. When relatives and friends of the mother contacted the first and third child in anger at how they treated their mother, the children would explain that the poop was a burden, it was an inconvenience to the mother, and thus, it was never a gift. It was just unwanted poop disguised as a gift.
The children went on to explain:
Our job and purpose in life is to be a teacher to our mother. We have learned the lessons from her, and that is about accountability and responsibility for our own poop. Now it’s her turn to learn the lesson that she has taught us. With our own poop we have fertilized our garden, given it to the mushrooms, the flowers, and the flies. We have taken something that is a burden to us and undesirable in its current state, and we have put in the work to transmute it and turn it into something valuable. This is how our gardens grow. This is how we create sustainable life. We’ve learned that too much poop in one garden makes it die, and not enough in a garden also makes it die. Mother’s garden is void of real life, love, and joy. She has no flowers or mushrooms or flies. Because she did not take responsibility for her own poop, she didn’t put it where it needed to go, she needs to rebuild her garden with the poop that we have given back to her, and NOW you can call it a gift.
The moral of this story is to deal with your own problems and be responsible and accountable for your own actions instead of trying to make it the job of somebody else. If you do this, you will be rewarded with a wonderful life full of personal growth and opportunity. If you do not, then your life might be easy, but it will be stagnant and unfulfilling. Taking responsibility for your actions and transmuting them into positive growth opportunities is always the way to go.
Or as my daughter Lola summarizes, “Real gifts come from your heart and not from your butt.”
The Guru Girl