the river monster

May 3, 2018

For many years, perhaps many lifetimes, you had been trudging through the muddy sludge of a dried up, slimy lake. Things were good. You were comfortable.

But one day the dam broke down and the water came crashing in.

You were terrified. You realize you didn’t know how to swim that well. Now, the land you once walked on looks completely different, in fact it’s no longer land. You were comfortable with the sludge because you knew it. It was familiar. This new terrain was not.

You thrashed and splashed and got dunked and pulled under the raging waves. You swallow so. much. water. It felt as though you were being ripped apart, beat up and drowning.

“This is hell,” you decided.

The moment arrives when you think you won’t come back up again, you have swallowed too much water, your limbs are exhausted and heavy, you cannot find the surface.

“I can’t do this,” you think, “this is too hard, it’s too painful.”

This is it… the end.

You surrender to your death… and as you do, your body floats to the surface… which is now calm and gentle.

You cough and choke and spit out water and start to thrash and flail your limbs again, desperate to stay above this time.

This continues for some time, until you realize that you can tread water and it uses so much less effort. After a while, and with practice, you learn that you can lay on your back and float with virtually no effort. And you can let the river, that was once a raging, scary monster that almost killed you, move you and take you to new places, and to be your ally, your vehicle to new experiences. At times you move through rapids, the intensity increases and you go under, but you now have the skills to resurface and move through them.

Now, as you effortlessly float on your back, gazing up at the blue sky and warm sun, you reflect back on your journey to this state of liberation, of joy, of strength and resilience. You think to yourself:

“Thank God I am no longer trudging along in that sludge… it was hell.”

Remember:
1. The thing you fear most has already happened.
2. The light ALWAYS returns.
3. You’ve got this.

Photo credit :: Unknown

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