“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.”
I’m not a mystical person in any sense of the word. But, for some reason these words that my yoga teacher spoke about today struck me as an appropriate metaphor for life.
Life is a fast moving stream. It forces you to go down paths you may not want to, to leave behind people you’d like to hold onto. It exerts great force and pushes or pulls you down one way or another. Sometimes it leads you down paths you like, that make you happy. And at other times it pushes you over rapids and rocks, leaving you bleeding and lost. At the end of the day though, you can’t hold onto the shore, or swim upstream all the way. You’d end up battered and bruised, pushed down the path you were avoiding anyways. Sometimes, life insists you endure what it throws at you.
One can respond to those rapids with anger and a fierce shaking of the fist at the fates that have put you there. Or, one can accept them for what they are and what they are doing to you. You need not enjoy the rapids, you need not look forward to them. But, you must endure them- in pain perhaps, but with the realization that calmer waters follow.
As I stand today, I realize I have no hold over life, no way of forcing it to steer one way or another. I can make my choices and go with them, but I have no way of controlling the outcomes. Some will be good, others not so much- the only thing I can do is make them, and keep going.
Your post reminded me of Siddartha by Hermann Hesse – the best lessons of life can be learned by watching a river.
Sarab Sodhi said:
That’s one of my favorite books. I’ll take that as a compliment!