Years ago, Dr. Leo Buscaglia wrote the book Love. It’s an absolutely beautiful book, based on the stories and experiences from a course he taught at the University of Southern California. He called the class “Love, 101.”
He often told the story of a group of students discussing that week’s assignments. During a discussion about self-acceptance, a young woman had shouted out the word, “Insight!” It was Dr. Buscaglia’s rule that if a student came upon an awareness or a new perspective about an issue, they had permission to scream out that word and share with the class what they had just learned. Hearing this, the rest of the students paused and waited quietly for her to speak.
“I’m not a banana,” the woman said. The rest of the group, startled, broke into soft giggles. When they saw her begin to giggle too, they all burst out into laughter.
“What I mean by that is, for a long time, I’ve tried to be a banana. I’ve tried to do everything I could to make myself into something I’m not. To carry this metaphor forward a little further,” the young woman said, “I’m more of a plum.
“What I’m saying, I guess, is that I’ve tried to be what other people have wanted me to be for a long time. Instead of accepting the fact that I’m small and round and purple, I’ve tried to stretch myself, reach outside of myself, and even try to paint myself a variety of different colors.”
Not a sound was heard among her classmates. A few had tears in their eyes. “I know,” she continued, ”that this may not be the most graceful metaphor, but I can’t be tall, tanned and sleek. No matter how I try, no matter how I change my outside appearance or my inside substance, I will always be a second-rate banana.
“I’m a plum. And if I can truly accept myself, I’m going to be the best plum I can be. I know I can do that well. And I hope that I find people in my life that really appreciate plums. Because I just can’t be a banana anymore and stay on the path of genuinely loving who I am. I’m going to be a plum all my life. I may as well start appreciating and accepting myself now. Better to be a happy plum than an unsatisfied banana.”
The class laughed and applauded. And they all knew exactly what she was talking about. “Self-acceptance,” she said, “begins in knowing who you are and continues when you try to be just that, not striving to please or to be what you can’t.”
“I am what I am,” she said, “And, right now, that’s really good enough for me.”
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
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