Whether or not you believe in reincarnation you needn’t die in order to have another chance to be reborn! Every day is another chance if we view it that way, to begin over, to change and become how and who we yearn to be and who we are called to be by the Divine. A simple way to start is by addressing the hold that our prejudices and old assumptions hold over us. When I was around 5-years-old I hated Brussel Sprouts and whenever someone tried to foist them off on me I let my distaste for them (the sprouts, that is) be clearly and loudly known! As a result of my dislike for them, as the years went along I just kept on disliking them even though I didn’t even eat them! My presumption was that the dislike that I had formed when younger was somehow reasonable.
Monastic life has taught me to question everything, especially my prejudices and well-established assumptions. One evening when the brother next to me at dinner table passed me the bowl of Brussel Sprouts I heard my inner 5 year-old loudly informing me that we don’t like them. And then it dawned on me… when was the last time I had actually tasted one? Long, long ago. So I put 3 on my plate. With a bit of interior cringing I brought one to my mouth. I chewed. And completely confusing to me… I liked it!
Why had I ever convinced myself that I didn’t like them? And why for so many years had I lived according to what my interior 5 year-old tyrant had decided that we didn’t like?! What other things had that 5 year-old made decisions about with which I, at 50 was still complying? In order to have another chance at changing we need to question and test opinions that we formed long ago in order to see whether or not they correspond to our life today. Who knows, maybe you too will discover that you have come back from the test as a lover of Brussel Sprouts!