The Deeper Meaning of The Story of Tony & Maria
One of the reasons we humans so Love stories and fairy tales is because they contain the seeds of deeper Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding. If in a flash we receive the deeper expression of a given tale, we can more clearly see how to apply it to our own lives so we may continue to Prosper and grow along all lines. The story becomes a part of us and no matter how often we hear it again going forward, we will always find that we are ever more enriched because we continue to expand our Consciousness through it.
So is the same true of the story of Tony and Maria. In case you have not come across this story before, I have included it below:
It is said that many years ago, an Italian couple named Tony and Maria came to America to seek their fortune. Maria was a wonderful cook and was the recipient of family recipes that were the delight of all who were fortunate enough to taste them. They wanted to open their own restaurant yet as they had little money to do so, so they started with what they had, and opened a small vegetable and fruit stand. That did well as they were a happy and friendly couple and people enjoyed stopping to buy their produce and chat with Tony and Maria. Then one day Maria canned some of her special Red sauce for pasta and starting selling her wonderful sauce at their stand. Word got round and soon people were telling her and Tony they should open their own restaurant. They had just enough money by then to open a small one and so they did. It continued to prosper and grow over the years and even when the depression came, Tony and Maria were still doing well.
They continued to work to expand their restaurant, installing a small garden in the back so they would always have the freshest, finest herbs and vegetables for Maria’s cooking, even hiring the best gardener they could find to tend the garden for them. They decided to re-decorate their beloved restaurant and to add beautiful tables and chairs out front so people could eat and enjoy the Spring and Summer days. Oh they had so many wonderful plans and even had to hire extra kitchen help and servers because things were going so well! All the people around Tony and Maria said “well, we hear talk of this so called economic depression but every day people are flocking to Tony and Maria’s so surely things are quite well where we are.” And because the people believed this, so it was.
Their eldest son had by this time grown up, gone off to college to study business and graduated with honors. Tony and Maria were so very proud and rightfully so! They couldn’t wait for him to come home so they could show him all they were doing and to have him help them grow their business even more. Tony was even talking of opening another restaurant in another part of town and who knows where it might go from there!
Yet when their son returned home and saw all that his parents were doing he exclaimed “are you crazy? Don’t you realize that there is a terrible economic depression happening and you will have to cut back on everything you are doing? The business can’t possibly survive otherwise!” Sadly, Tony and Maria instead of doing their own thinking and looking at what was actually happening in their lives instead of at the fears of their son, reluctantly agreed. They had to let the gardener go of course and cancelled the order for the new tables and chairs. The extra servers and kitchen staff, well, they would have to be let go too. When the people around Tony and Maria saw what they were doing, they too became frightened and started to say “The depression is here now too” and because the people believed it, it was so.
Tony and Maria closed their business soon after and were never able to rekindle their dreams. Many of us are just like Tony and Maria. Instead of questioning what we are told by others, we think that these others must know more than we do, because otherwise they wouldn’t be on the TV and Radio, they wouldn’t have sold all those books, and look at all those people that attend their seminars, they couldn’t possibly all be wrong either. These “experts” went to a prestigious University after all, so surely they must know what they are speaking of! And because the people believe this, this is what is made so.
So here we have Tony and Maria who have gotten themselves into a real pickle. Yet who are they really? Tony, Maria, their son and the people all symbolize different aspects of us. We are Tony, Maria and the son; we are also the people who believe in the positive or the negative. So this story shows us how we get ourselves into trouble and while the ending doesn’t exactly show us how to get ourselves out again, the clues are there if we are willing to search for them.
Tony is the rational, conscious part of us. Maria is the Soul, the Intuitive, Creative aspect of us. She also represents the subconscious mind which is directly plugged into all things everywhere, all of the time, and this includes Spirit. The two are intended to work hand in hand with one another and for much of the story they do and quite well. As long as they are cooperative with one another and going about their business in a happy, enthusiastic, positive way, everything they do grows, thrives and prospers. The go from success to success and they enjoy what they are doing.
In fact, they Love what they are doing together so much that as long as they are in that frame of mind, they cannot possibly fail (and really, there is no “failure” anyway for everything is a learning and growing experience)
So here is how it worked for Tony and Maria, remembering they are you and me as well. Tony as the rational mind looks about himself and thinks “ I sure would enjoy having my own restaurant. I really like people, I really like acting the gracious host, I Love to see people fed and nourished and happy with what I could offer them. I Love the idea of seeing them enter my restaurant with happy smiles, anticipating the wonderful meal they are to enjoy and I Love the idea of seeing them leave with happy, satisfied faces. This is for me!”
The first step for Tony and Maria is to leave the “old country” or the old ways of thinking, being and doing. They had to be willing to give up the old so they could begin the process of moving forward. They can’t stay where they are and be who they long to be. It may have been comfortable there where they were, rather like wearing an old pair of broken in shoes, and yet old shoes wear out and become quite uncomfortable and even damaging to the feet. This is how Tony and Maria have started to feel. They can see that they have much more potential within them and they want to explore this potential. In order to do so, they have to let go of what is and trust that something will show them the way IF they keep going!
Now where did the rational mind get this idea to begin with? How did Tony know that this was really for him? Why Maria of course! Because Spirit had already implanted within Maria the seeds for the fulfillment of Tony’s desire. Because Spirit created Tony to do what he longed to do! Spirit wants people to be well fed and nourished and enjoy the things that Life has to offer. Spirit creates Tony’s the same Spirit creates great artists or philosophers or nurses or anything else. If the need is there, Spirit has the means and ways to fulfill it.
So here we have Maria who is really the one with the “delicious sauce”, the one who can support the rational mind in anything that it sees that it desires to build or create. She is the one with the great ideas, the insights and all the rest that is required for Tony to build his dream. So she goes to Tony and says “I have this delicious sauce recipe and it will make us prosperous indeed. Yet in order to get to where we want to be, we have to start with where we are and so this is what we need to do first. So she hands Tony the seeds for the “fruits and vegetables” they are to grow and sell in their stand. Tony plants those seeds in the fertile soil of his mind and to insure they come forth in their proper time, he prepares by building the stand that he and Maria will use to sell the produce from. You notice he doesn’t say, oh this is too hard or we can’t possibly or it will take too long. We all tend to do this and yet if we remain true
instead to the positive example that Tony and Maria represent in the first part of the story, we too shall find the ways and means to build our own “produce stands”.
Tony sits down and thinks, well, I have a hammer and some nails and I think our neighbor Joe down the lane has some lumber that is just sitting about. Maybe he will let me use it for our stand and when our fruits and vegetables are ready, we can share some of our produce with him and his family. Maria agrees with this plan and sure enough, Joe is thrilled to have Tony haul that old lumber away and make something Good and useful from it. So here Tony or the rational mind realizes that there is always a way, someone will be willing, even delighted to help him and he can return the Good the other has shared with him in some way, so every one wins and everyone is happy. Here is the continuing theme of cooperation as well. And this is an important lesson for us because as we cooperate with one another instead of trying to compete, we all come out winners and we all get what we really want. This also increases our awareness that there is more than enough Good
to go round, plenty, plenty, plenty for all.
So Tony and Maria have completed their first step. And of course because of all the Good feelings and Energy involved, it is a success. People are drawn to the stand because Tony and Maria radiate Happiness and Joy. They welcome the people as they approach (now remember, “the people” in this story are aspects of ourselves, this is very important for it is all the different parts of ourselves that can help us to succeed in anything we choose to undertake). Because the people are excited to see this new stand and hear about what Tony and Maria are doing, they too want to be involved and participate. Tony and Maria are having a grand time with their produce stand and this makes the people happy too. Happiness attracts greater and greater Positive Energy as does Love. Tony and Maria really Love this step they have taken and are enjoying it to the fullest. Tony, after being prompted by Maria, begins to act more and more the gracious host he longs to be.
He could care less that currently he is “hosting” the first step, it has put him on the path to his goal and he can see more clearly now where he is being led.
As Tony continues to express enthusiasm and Joy, Maria is further prompted to come up with more and more wonderful ideas to insure their continued success. These of course she passes along to Tony in due course and as he continues to listen and follow through, the people also begin to join in more and more frequently and say “I know a banker than can help you if you need a loan” or “I have been telling all my friends and neighbors about your wonderful produce stand and they are sure to come!”
Times passes and soon enough Tony and Maria have all the Money and resources they need to start their beloved restaurant and as they continue to Love what they are doing, they and it continue to thrive, prosper and grow. Things are going so wonderfully they can send their son off to college, something they could only have dreamed about in the “old country”. Their dream has come true and yet what they find it was only the beginning and there is so much more for them to do. And they will achieve far more than they could ever have thought possible at first IF they keep going!
So what happens? The son goes off to college and then returns to tell his parents how awful everything is “out there”. He sees only doom and gloom because someone else taught him to seek out the doom and gloom. It wasn’t Tony and Maria, they were doing quite well and truly believed in what they were doing and that they were meant to succeed. And because they did, the people did too.
The son in this story represents the part or parts of ourselves that we send out into the world both on a conscious and subconscious level. Now perhaps Tony and Maria forgot to say to their son “Son, there are many things that others will tell you is true but you don’t have to believe what others say is true or untrue. Use your own mind, seek to look beyond appearances and never blindly accept what another says. For all things are possible and all things are most definitely possible when we listen to that which is Greater than ourselves”. So we need to do what Tony and Maria in all likelihood forgot to do and we need to do so day in and day out. For all of us are always being bombarded with “oh, how awful this is” and “How terrible things are at the moment!” from within ourselves and from others in the world around us. So we need to shut those voices down, stop listening to them and say NO! I refuse to accept or believe any of that and I
don’t have to. Others can if they so choose, yet for me, I am going to immerse myself in what feels Good and Right and True to me and I am going to Praise and give Thanks and “dwell on these things” that I have chosen to be true for me. And if we do this, so will the people. And just like the people in the story, the people within us will continue to support and assist us in what ever way we require when we require it.
So how could Tony and Maria have rekindled their dreams? For they could have. It is true that at times things are shut down in our lives because we have outgrown them and the Good that was once ours has become as “the old country” and we need to leave it and journey to the new country where we are to find our Greater Good. Perhaps for Tony and Maria they could have started a company bottling and selling Maria’s wonderful sauce to stores and restaurants around the country, even around the world. Or perhaps they could have started another business, teaching young folks how to do what they did and giving them the biggest and most important lesson of all, to just keep going! For if one’s Heart is there, so too must one be. There are many avenues Tony and Maria could have explored, even starting another restaurant if that is what they really wanted to do. However, they gave up and this was fatal to them. It killed their dreams and plans for the future
and the sad thing is, had they ignored what was of “ill report”, the things their son had told him, and instead sought to teach their son the Truth, they would have been fine. They would have been more than fine, they would have continued to Prosper and Thrive and Grow as they were intended.
There is always a way forward and a way out of any dilemma if we are willing to ask to be shown what it is, if we are willing to seek out what ever is of Good Report and cling to it like a drowning man clings to a piece of driftwood if need be. For if we do, we shall reach the far shore where our Greater Good waits for us. And we shall see that our “far shore” really wasn’t as far off as we had first believed.
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