“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu
There is beauty and meaning in the flow of the river. When we resist that natural order, we resist what is. When we resist what is, we lose sight of the meaning and purpose the currents have in our life. And it hurts.
This point was literally driven home last week in a little spot called Sliding Rock. There is a slab of rock that you can slide down into 50 degree water. The first time is the scariest because you don’t know what to expect on the one hand, but you know the water is going to be frigid on the other. I am a native Floridian and resident, except when I spent three years in the desert of Saudi Arabia where the sidewalks were so hot it would burn your feet through thin soled-shoes. I am not a fan of the cold!
The children were afraid, so daddy and I led the charge to build up their confidence. Truth is I was more scared and less interested in this little slide then they were. So the way down I resisted. I put my hands down to try and slow the cold descent into an icy baptismal. I clenched every muscle in my bottom. This turned me into a human torpedo where I took air and firmly landed harder on my tail bone, then caught a jagged rock with my finger. Ouch this really hurt.
I quickly realized my need for control is what caused my injury. Old people, really heavy people and small children were coming down laughing and without incident.
My solution was try again, but this time just let go and relax. Not only was I injury free this time, but I also went slower. I actually learned how to slide down so slow by letting go that I didn’t even get my head dunked at the end. My children were impressed. I had a great time. I was reminded of a valuable lesson.
“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit” Emmanuel Teney.
In true human EGO form, I became over confident. I thought now I’ve mastered this. Now I will take the fast lane and clench up again so I can go even faster. I took so much air and slammed down so hard right in the deepest crack of my bottom that I’ve been walking funny for a week now. And so I was reminded of another valuable lesson!
“Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.” Bruce Barton.
The river must be respected for its awesome power. Like life it is to be enjoyed, to relax into it, to go with the flow of it. Fear and resistance only causes pain just as over confidence and cockiness surely will in time. To relax, to respect the power of the flow, to be humble and mostly to enjoy the ride is the true sweet spot in life!
Thank you Sliding Rock for the sore bottom and happy heart ~ Until we flow again.