|Standing beneath the overhang of Weeping Rock looking across the canyon|
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” — Margaret Atwood
One of my friends shared this quote recently, and it got me thinking about how I am like water and how I am not. Negativity seems to be surrounding me lately, so, in an effort to go around it, I want to focus on how I try to be like water.
While I resist quite a few things that come at me, I have learned to make great effort to go with the flow so to speak. There is something to be said for knowing when to let go of something that isn't working or helping you. Oftentimes, I have to cut my losses and do something differently, so my children and I can keep making progress. It doesn't seem like stopping progress on something is progress, but if it isn't working, stopping actually helps everyone.
For example, I used to do chore charts. They worked well for us. I rotated jobs between the children, and it was pretty great. Well, then our lives changed, and I work now. There is no overseer to guide and help half of the time, so I decided to throw out the chore chart, and I do verbal assignments when I am able to follow through with rewards and consequences at least somewhat. When we work at things now, we see the fruit of our labors much faster and with less frustration.
While that example is pretty basic, it shows how failure can bring about positive change. I've learned that acknowledging failure is a strength when you learn what you need to work around to get where you want to be.
There is also something to be said for meting out your time and talents carefully so as to not become overburdened. That reminds me of the dripping water wearing away a stone analogy. If I use everything I have in me too quickly, I'm more like a popped water balloon than anything else—unable to do anything for myself or others once that initial burst is over.
I want to be more like the water that drips off the rock ceiling of Weeping Rock in Zion National Park. It slowly drip, drip, drips every day, even when there hasn't been rain in a long while. It keeps the surrounding area moist for ferns and other plants to grow and provides a place for people and animals to find cool refreshment from the heat in summer. For me to give enough of myself to last through all that is required of me, I need to give in consistent drip, drip, drips that conserve my mental and emotional energies while still making a difference and helping myself.
I find it interesting that I identify with Weeping Rock as I think about patient water. I don't recall the scientific facts about how long it takes for the water to make it from the top and find it's way out as drips of condensation, but I do know it takes some time. Each droplet carries with it minerals that also feed the floor upon which it eventually falls, thus nourishing while watering. It is a process to weep the way that it does.
Likewise, tears can be nourishing. They can be healing. Tears can teach if we watch for how patience guides us. It is not good to cry all the time, but allowing ourselves to feel our way through life helps us be more like water. We can tell where we need to flow through or around to make our way. We choose our path instead of feeling tossed to and fro by the storms we call obstacles. And I will go where I want to go. I will succeed. I will reach my dreams. I will be more like water.