When you look at this picture do you think “Yum! Eggplant!! I can make eggplant parmigiana, roasted eggplant, stuffed eggplant, grilled eggplant, baba ganoush, or pizza with eggplant!”  or “Yuck, I really don’t like eggplant.”?

On a personal note, I do not like eggplant.  I want to like eggplant because it is healthy for me. I want to like it because my mother makes an eggplant parmigiana that smells and looks delicious. I often try it hoping that my taste-buds have changed and I will like it, but after a bite, I am sadly wrong. My sisters and my husband love eggplant and no matter how it is disguised, I just can’t seem to eat it! By now you are asking yourself, ” Is this blog all about eggplant?” Well yes and no!

This analogy came to me one day on a walk while I was struggling with the feeling of rejection, not being included, and even a little betrayed. It was with a person for the past 20 years I have tried to befriend.  We did not start off on the right foot and honestly, there are many episodes of tension between us.  Between the two of us, we have made attempts to tolerate, be cordial, and even support each other. We were thrown together by fate and are in each-others lives whether we like it or not.

Through the years, I have asked God, ” What is this person teaching me? Where do I need to grow and change?, and What can I do to make it better?”

My answer finally came in the form of an analogy with eggplant! Crazy, right?  I don’t like eggplant, it doesn’t like me. I can disguise it in all sorts of forms and sauces, but it is still eggplant. I can sample it time and time again only to realize I don’t like it. Other people love it and I can’t change their mind nor should I try.

So my relationship with this person is like my relationship with eggplant. I really don’t like it and no matter what I do I can’t seem to make edible.   People will like me, people will like them, and people will like both of us. I do not need to change.  The other person does not need to change. I can’t make it better and neither can the other person. It has taught me that trying to control and change another person doesn’t do anyone any good. You are just left with resistance, resentment, and anger. It also taught me that liking or not liking this person is not a reflection on me. It is just what it is without emotion.

So for me right now, that person is just “eggplant”.  As I shift my gaze from reacting to just being, my emotional charge is deflated.  It isn’t positive or negative, it doesn’t carry anger or rejection, it is not controlling or opinionated, and most of all it allows for self-forgiveness.   I am grateful for the lesson I have learned. I am grateful that I can be at peace now and not constantly feel torn by what should be versus what is. Maybe someday I will like eggplant!

Who would have ever thought that eggplant would be a life lesson!!??

Journal: Can you think of a food that you don’t like but really want to? How does this food remind you of a relationship you have with another person? Does it change your perspective?

With love and gratitude,

Anna

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