Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who Stirs Your Alphabet Soup?

Remember when we were little and our moms would make us alphabet soup? Good hot Campbells on a cold winter day. Those little letters would float around the top of the broth, bopping in and out. Sometimes we could even form words out of those little letters, like "cat" and "dog." Other times, if we were silly and creative, we could take mixed up letters and make our own words, with crazy definitions. At least, that is my memory with alphabet soup...probably was very telling that I would love the written word!

I don't believe our soup bowl ever empties. Rather, it simply gets fuller over time. Social influences, familial influences, friends, lovers, ex-lovers, events happy and sad...each add letters to our alphabet soup. Imagine that soup's broth having many, many layers of letters, and all those letters float to the surface when stirred, sending different messages to our (sub)conscious mind. The question I think is important to ask is, "Who is stirring my soup?" Is what I think really what I think? Is what I feel or interpret reasonable? Is my hand on the ladle or does a ghost or opinion have its grip on what I think my life is about? What we think, what we believe, is the beginning of our voice.

Metaphors are valuable if they help put the puzzle pieces of our life together. Within me, made up from all my life experiences, is a warm bubbling pot of fresh alphabet soup. I realized it was "crazy making" to be defined by my ghosts or my past. Many of those things no longer nourish me, as all good soup should. Wouldn't it be a blessing to wake up one day and be defined as brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous, knowing that all those attributes were born in us through our many, many life experiences? After all, we are children of a gracious and good God, as MarianneWilliamson pointed out. She asked us, "Who are we not to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?" So I choose to place my hand on the ladle and stir up my own, precious bowl of life soup. Anyone interested in joining me for lunch?

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