Growing up I was always told an apple a day keeps the doctor away. While that might be true in one sense, this morning I realized that there were other apples I have eaten throughout my life which in their own way shape or form have banished me from my own Garden of Eden. It is not that I was not aware of the things from my past that I had agreed to which were toxic, but this morning while listening to Don Miguel Ruiz talk about Adam and Eve, the serpent, and the Garden of Eden, I realized I too had listened to and internalized others knowledge. In doing so, I had internalized “apples” that was toxic to my emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Eating those “apples,” those pieces of knowledge that others had handed me telling me they were good in their own way banished me from my Garden of Eden.
Over the last several years, I have been working at removing this toxic knowledge from my life and learning new listening skills. I have learned that it does not matter how “knowledge” presents itself, it is the effect on my life, and well being that is important. As a result, I have learned to be skeptical of everything everyone says, myself included. So often, I find myself trying to feed myself an “apple” and have to pick it up and put it in the trash before I ingest the poison apple. Unlike in a fairy tale, the deep sleep that the poisonous apple will put me in will not be removed simply by the kiss of my princess charming.
Every day is filled with opportunities for me to face my demons, remove the “apples” from my life, and distinguish between that which comes from the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. That which comes from the tree of life is truth, an eternal truth that comes from the Infinite. That which comes from the tree of knowledge, I must listen to with skepticism and carefully decide whether I dare risk ingesting it and making it a part of my being.
I have a great thirst to learn, but I am learning to have a greater awareness and mindfulness of what “knowledge” is being offered me and who the messenger is. What is their intent in sharing what they are sharing? Is the messenger an angel or spirit guide or the voice of the Infinite or someone trying to lead me away from my center and residence near the sun?
Even in the midst of the most beautiful and spiritual settings, there are those who will offer me “apples” that will have a poisonous effect on my well-being and me. I have come to realize that I cannot prevent them from offering me their “apples,” however, I can limit my interactions with them, and I can choose not to accept their “apples.” With each choice, I make not to eat the “apples” I take one-step towards moving closer to the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life.
Perhaps that is why I have always preferred dates to apples. Dates come from the tree of life and have powerful healing qualities and apples come from the tree of knowledge. Some of which are healthy, and others that are toxic.