…and a Strawberry on Top

My daughter is not at all fond of strawberries. Unfortunately, at our favorite Mexican restaurant last night, her chicken tacos came on a plate with a side of fruit… which happened to be strawberries. The strawberries were touching the tacos, and – almost as if to taunt her – one bright red strawberry happened to be sitting right on top of a taco, like a cherry on a sundae.

She was not at all pleased. After a long day, it was especially hard for her not to fall apart at the sight of strawberries touching her tacos. “I don’t know what to do,” she lamented. “I love the tacos and I’m so hungry AND the tacos have disgusting strawberry juice on them.” She stared at the plate.

It’s hard when foods you don’t like are mixed with foods you do like. And it’s hard when your thoughts are mixed together, too – like whether or not to eat strawberry-tainted tacos.

Everything touches. Even when we don’t want it to. We see this often while working with people who say they have lots of good reasons to change… and in the same breath mention the many reasons keeping things the same sounds pretty good, too. Even when change begins, that dilemma persists. Our chosen path brings delight for what’s gained and sorrow for what’s lost. 

So often we find ourselves caught between these conflicting thoughts and emotions. They feel so big and so true. Everything’s all mixed together. With a strawberry on top.

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.