On my daily morning walk with MacDuff, we pass a ditch with running water. Sometimes the ditch is fairly full, burbling and moving along. Once, it was so full it overflowed onto the empty lot on the corner. And other times, it is simply a trickle. The water itself is usually clear, with a definite movement to it. But it can also be quite muddy and slow with a lazy attitude.
When I think about it, the water in this ditch can be like a mirror of my own path through life, and perhaps yours too. It begins its life on earth as it falls from the skies or melts from ice into a stream. In the same way, we begin our lives on earth in a clear direction as a baby. We bring special characteristics to define our personality and attitude toward life. We are here on earth at a specific time, in a particular place. We are gifted with certain challenges and benefits. Within these boundaries, we move through life, much as a river flows, coming upon many twists, turns and obstacles along the way.
Water is a great teacher. It shows us how to move through the world with grace, determination, ease and humility.
- When a river flows over a waterfall, it gains power and moves on. As we encounter our own waterfalls, we may tumble but after falling, keep moving along.
- Water can inspire us to be flexible and let go of the familiar when it no longer serves us. We can be brave and not waste time clinging to the past, but flow onward without looking back.
- At the same time, if there is a hollow to be filled, water does not run away from it in fear of the dark. It humbly and courageously fills the empty space. In the same way, we can face the dark moments and overwhelming fears in our lives rather than fleeing in panic.
- Water can tumble and create froth, shimmering as it goes along the path of the river. We can also sparkle and have fun in our lives. As we come to joy filled times, we make happy memories.
- Water can also lap quietly along the shores of a lake. We too can embrace or create peaceful times for ourselves. Those tranquil spaces fill our hearts and souls. They remind us who we are and why we are here, expanding feelings of appreciation and wonder.
- Water can get stuck, building up pressure behind an obstacle or blockage. We too can get stuck, not able to move past a certain point. But like water, we can move around or over the stumbling block. We can move on, being ever flexible and ingenious. We have tools and resources within us. All we have to do is tap into them.
- Water can turn into ice, penetrating cracks and fissures in rocks. The pressure can eventually cause the boulder to shatter. We too can come across difficult times where we feel broken, lost and alone but use our strength to achieve goals.
- Eventually, water returns to the earth or flows into the sea. It is not afraid of losing its identity or being weak. We also can be with others, contributing and merging without losing energy. There is no resistance, for the highest good is to help one another.
Is your life like water? Does it flow? Or are you stuck? Let me know what’s happening in your world.