Up Against Life
“Remember, if you pour water into a tea cup, it will take the shape of the tea cup. If you pour water into a bottle, it will take the shape of the bottle. Each one of us has to be like the water and be prepared to change with the mold life creates for us from day to day. But we must also be aware that our thoughts can profoundly influence the shape of that mold.” – Syd Banks, The Enlightened Gardener (page 155)
A delicious quote! I’ve been reflecting on it for days, savoring its wisdom: there is a subtle interplay between accepting life and having the heart to shape it.
From her beautiful country retreat in Scotland, Jacquie Forde, a 3 Principles practitioner, and I, this morning, did a podcast called, “Soul Shifts”. We talked about times in life where the wisdom of the heart took us in new directions, disrupting structures, beliefs and concepts; inviting us to see something new and fresh.
As we talked, I remembered, again, that I’ve often evolved most deeply and quickly in life when I was up against something. Something that initially seemed too hard, too scary, too painful or unfair. A disastrous fall off a ladder that ended perfect health. Not getting an internship I expected in my psychology doctoral program. Watching my daughter move thousands of miles away. The sudden death of my first husband.
Each of those experiences, and so many more, required that I adapt to new circumstances over which I had little control and that could not be changed; a new mold life created for me. Yet, from the vantage point of having lived 64 years, I can see clearly that with each experience, my soul did indeed shift, evolve, and that these shifts brought fresh thinking that shaped the mold.
The fall off the ladder brought a new appreciation for perseverance and baby steps as I inched my way through recovery watching my thinking move from “this isn’t fair” to “I can do this!” Not getting the internship and accepting the offer that was the last on my list was deeply humbling, but the experience ended up perfect for my lifestyle and rewarding beyond my wildest dreams thanks to thoughts that moved from, “I have failed; I’ll quit my program” to “I won’t judge this. I can be open”.
My daughter’s move taught me about the power of letting go and seeing that love means supporting the dreams of the other as thinking moved from “I can’t bear this” to “this isn’t about me”. Jim’s death taught me that love is infinite as thinking moved from, “I will never get over this” to “Death has no power over the infinity of love.”
Of course, I prefer it when life seems smoother, less eventful and continuous. But when I am up against disruptions, I know that I can and will evolve. The way, the direction, always comes from seeing new thought….from within.