It is with a heavy heart I write this blog to honor a friend. This last week I learned that my friend Chris O’Connor had taken his life. Chris’s focus had always been on improving the quality of life for his clients. He gave wholeheartedly and everyone loved him, so learning of his death has been quite a shock for everyone. Chris and I had attended the same massage college years before and became friends at the Matrixx put on by Bob Proctor and Sandy Gallagher. We worked together for a few years and shared many of the same interests. During that time he shared this fable which he gave me permission to share in my latest book, The 30 Laws of Flow.
“In case you are not familiar with Fruit Loops, they are a cereal in North America. So, the story begins inside a cereal box. There are Fruit Loops residing inside the cereal box but because they are inside the box they don’t even know that they are Fruit Loops. It’s dark, they are all crowded in and they can’t even conceive of a world existing outside because all they see is the inside of the box.
One day one of the Fruit Loops escapes and leaves the inside of the box. The Fruit Loop discovers this magical outside world. The escapee realizes that he has been living inside this box that is beautifully decorated on the outside. The writing on the outside of the box tells the Fruit Loop “what” he is…a Fruit Loop. The Fruit Loop then discovers his “worth” through the nutritional information on the side of the box! It turns out that if you add this thing called M-I-L-K, the Fruit Loops become even MORE nutritious when mixed together!
Upon further exploration the Fruit Loop discovers on the back of this container there are wonderful puzzles and games to be solved. And beyond this small box lies an incredibly huge and infinite space that those inside could never comprehend.
It would be impossible for the Fruit Loop to try and explain what he is experiencing to the others still inside but he decides to return and try. But this lone Fruit Loop discovers to his amazement, the others who are still trapped inside the box don’t even want to hear about this fantastical world. They don’t even want to know or even care! They just want the lid closed and to get back to life inside the box as usual.
This lone Fruit Loop was so enthralled with this outer world of new possibilities he decides to go back out and see if he can find other Fruit Loops who have escaped the old ways/paradigm of “inside the box mentality”. He knew that he would need support to not get sucked back into the old “inside the box thinking”.
The moral of the story is…….sometimes it is hard to break from the “inside the box” mindset, and it is even more difficult to convince those still trapped that things can be so much better. The best thing to do is find the other Fruit Loops who get it…. who have had the experience of greater possibility……who can share in the enthusiasm of this new way of thinking and are ready to explore new worlds.”
Chris gave so much to many people over the years and he will be greatly missed. We never know what is really going inside another person’s mind, we only see the outer actions and outer personality traits. I think I had the same feeling when comedian Robin Williams took his life. We see these wonderful people giving so much to the world but inside there is another conversation going on that we can’t see.
So, the message today is to love everyone unconditionally as you never know what battle they are facing internally. Also, encourage people who give so much to the world to take some inner time for themselves.
In Chris’s words, here’s to “life’s mysterious unfolding.”