by Susan Haid, Lily’s Truth
Failure. Stress. Chaos. Confusion. Doubt. These are words that describe life for most of us today. The changes that lie ahead for all of us demand tremendous courage. We are amidst a struggle that never seems to end. Chaos has become a regular part of our existence. We want to know how it will all end. We want to run away to a desert island, away from it all. We want to hear the waves lap upon the shore, feel the breeze on our skin, and spend a few days or weeks with nothing to do or nothing to think about. We simply want it all to go away. Moreover, we wish we could run away from it all.
So, hop aboard your little boat and head out to sea. Your little tin boat has a tiny outboard motor. You are alone and your resources are simple by choice. You are going to a desert island far out in the middle of the ocean. As you pull your little tin boat up onto the sandy beach, you look up at the tropical forest that lines the beach. You can hear the birds singing. Off somewhere in the forest you think you hear the beating of drums, and you cut into the forest to follow the sound. As you work your way deeper and deeper into the forest, there is no path to follow. You push through hanging vines, step over fallen trees, wipe the sweat from your brow, and forage your own trail. You don’t really know what lies ahead, but you push forward. You are hot, tired and hungry. The forest canopy is thick but the blue sky is hanging in the backdrop as you look overhead. There does not appear to be any end in sight. You, quite literally, cannot see the forest through the trees. You find yourself deep in the middle of nowhere. There is no path to follow and no indication of which way to go. You call out but there is no answer. You cry out to God but there is no answer. There is no way out. You are lost. You are alone.
After awhile, you notice that a little bird is singing over your shoulder. So, you wipe the tears from your eyes and you sit and listen to the little bird. For a minute, you forget that you are alone, and you feel just the tiniest bit of happiness. You stand up and brush yourself off. You look down at your palms which are dirty and empty. You look around and you decide to choose the direction that follows a small creek. You walk for a very long time along this little creek. By now, your feet are blistered and sore. You take off your shoes and soak your feet in the cool stream. You wash your dirty hands. This small act is refreshing, almost healing. You wash your face and let the cool water drip down over your shoulders and arms. And, you give thanks for the little stream that has eased your journey. You lie in the stream pondering what you are going to do. You are still lost. You are still alone. And you just don’t know what to do. You think about following your markings back to where you started. This is an option. You could go back. You could go back to your little boat and go home. And so you decide that this is safer. This ending has a guarantee. The guarantee is your little tin boat that awaits you on the beach. You follow your cuttings and markings all the way back to your boat. It was just that while you were lost in the forest, you forgot that you could always go back.
Once you are back in your little boat, on your way back home, you both laugh and cry because you gave yourself quite a scare. You convinced yourself that you were lost and alone.
Now you are back at home once again. You gaze out over the ocean wistfully remembering your adventure. But you are happy to leave it behind. You want to fall into the comfort and security of home. You want to be free from the stress and worry of fighting for survival. What you want is to live a life of comfort, freedom, peace and security.
There’s nothing like an exciting adventure if we know that when the journey is over we can return to the comfort and safety of home. The adventures we take remind us that we are alive…that we are living and breathing through a very exciting time. We do it because we are adventurers. We love the adventure and the excitement. But more than anything, we love the discovery.
Once we have had our respite from the long and harrowing journey, not too much time passes before we are planning our next adventure. We can’t help ourselves. The adventures are fun, and deep inside we know there is more. We get so caught up in our adventures that we completely forget who we are or where we come from. The adventures seem so real that we forget that we can get out any time we want. We also forget that we can remain in the adventure with detachment, not getting so deeply immersed in the experience that we get lost in it, so lost in our forgetting that we can’t get out.
When this happens, pull yourself back into your life as an observer almost like a tourist on an adventure in an unknown land. Can you live your life with some detachment? Can you look at your life as an adventure? It’s OK not to get so serious about your life that you don’t get lost in it and lost in despair. This gives you a little bit of a buffer between yourself and the life you are experiencing.
This is not insulating yourself from your life or denying your life. This is simply finding your presence within your life. This presence has nothing to do with your experience but everything to do with who you are as a grand being. You are you. You have experiences. But you are not your life experiences. Your experiences are experiences, and you are you.
Give yourself the gift of this sacred space that is beyond your life experience. You are here in this world on an adventure. At times, the adventure is frightening, challenging, and sorrowful. At other times, the adventure is exciting, joyful and fulfilling. The adventure has a beginning and an end, but you do not. You are eternal.
It is possible in this world of challenge and stress, during the crumbling of the world around us, to maintain our balance by remembering that we can rise above these experiences by not getting lost in them. We must remember who we are. We are here to experience the adventure but not to get lost in the adventure.
We are here to see what we will see and know what we will know. But if we get lost and we can’t see our way out, it is because we have let ourselves believe that it is possible to get lost in the first place. Remember you are here for the journey but you are not the journey.
When we find ourselves getting so heavy with life, and it seems too hard, too painful, and so tough that we just can’t go on anymore, that is the time when we need to step back from life. That is when we have taken it all too seriously, so seriously that we have gotten lost and can’t find our way out.
Oh, but then again, we can find our way out. This is the time when we remind ourselves that we are taking a step back, a good, healthy step back, way, way back. We are pulling back so that we can rebalance, get clear and take a breather. From this new vantage point, we can let things be for a while. We can take a minute and remember who we are. Then when we are ready, we can take that bold step forward into life once again, this time refreshed and renewed. We can begin again.
We still may not know the answers, and we may not know where we’re headed. But when we’re refreshed and renewed, the answers and the direction unfold naturally and easily. We make life too hard. We struggle way too much. We stress, we fret, we fear, we dread. It’s only natural. It’s only human. Just remember not to get lost, and you’ll be OK. We all will.
Once you’ve been able to take that step back and you have separated yourself from your experience, you realize that you can go on, that you do have it in you. You have reconnected with the part of you that is unlimited, you see. You might even find that you want to go on and that you have something to live for.
After all, what is yet to come is an exciting prospect. The future just may hold something we don’t want to give up on or miss out on. We might even find some important answers or revolutionary discoveries along the way. What are they? Well, we’ll all have to wait and see.
For more helpful information about living peacefully and joyfully, visit http://www.lilystruth.com.