One of the hardest things to do in life is to admit we are powerless. It’s not in our DNA. We are overcomers. We make a way where there isn’t a way. We will not be conquered, helpless, ineffectual, useless, defenseless, defeated.
However, there are times when we have no choice. In spite of our defiance and indomitable spirit, we must admit we cannot win, change or alter a situation.
Wisdom tells us that submission can at times be our greatest strength. It is when we are still, not struggling, we find our way to peace and contentment. There is a difference between being physically or emotionally powerless and having the ability to know the fight isn’t ours to win.
One of my favorite things to do is sit by our fire pit after a long day and watch the flames light up the night sky filled with stars.
On Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon we had several rain showers move through the area. Finally, Sunday evening, they scattered to the winds leaving a damp chill in the air. I went out to the fire pit and uncovered some wood in a holder that’s protected from nature’s elements. The ground in and around the fire pit was soaked but placing the dry kindling in and putting a match to it I soon had a roaring fire that chased the dampness away. The area around the fire was wet but the wood was dry and this made all the difference.
I smiled as the flames leapt into the air and reflected on the storms that often come into our lives. They deluge us with difficulties and pain, heartache and despair, hopelessness and powerlessness. We may wonder if our lives will ever burn again with passion and purpose. The key to being reignited is to protect our spirits, a layer of shielding around our hearts and minds, to know at our center the rain cannot penetrate and when the time comes we will be ready to once again be set aflame and light up the night.
“A gentle rain falling on a high mountain in a distant land. The rain was at first hushed and quiet, trickling down granite slopes. Gradually it increased in strength, as water rolled over rocks and soon it was pouring, pooling together as swift currents of a moving river. Down the mountainside, over cascading water falls, submerging all in its path.
Finally, having left the heights of the distant mountain range, the river made its way to the edge of a great desert. Sand and rock stretched beyond seeing and as fast and hard as the current splashed into the desert it was absorbed into the hot, burning sand.
Unsure how to move forward the river heard a whisper; “If the wind crosses the desert, so can you.” “Yes, but the wind can fly!” shouted the river. “You’ll never cross unless you let the wind carry you.” echoed the voice again. “But how?” begged the river. “Let go and the wind will guide you.” replied the voice.
The river could not accept this. After all, if it gave itself to the winds, could it ever be sure of becoming itself again? “Is this the only way?” it weakly asked. Ever so wisely a voice resonated within; “You cannot remain what and where you are, you must let go and give yourself to the wind.”
The river was silent for a long time, listening, fearing, deciding. Finally, from the depths of stillness, the river released itself, trusting the voice, and its vapors rose to the welcoming arms of the wind. Gradually, being lifted up higher and higher, it was carried along on clouds over the wide desert wasteland.
After a season it approached distant mountains water began once again to fall as a light rain, hushed and quiet, trickling down granite slopes. Gradually it increased in strength, rolling over rocks and across the terrain, countless drops coming together and soon swift currents flowed, a river would soon be reborn.” – an ancient wisdom parable
There was a time when each of us didn’t know who or what we were. Nothing and no one had placed labels upon us. We were carried along and trusted, knowing the way would reveal itself. However, eventually, society, family, would assess strengths and weaknesses, assign identities and aliases and these would become who and what we were to the world, to ourselves. They became our boundaries, our beliefs and we could go no further.
Then, if we have ears to hear, wisdom begins to whisper our name. Deep calls to deep. A stirring begins in our souls and an ancient voice tells us to release our misconceptions, perceptions of life, fate, reality, eternity. It is a calling to see power and control, not as forces to wield or weapons to coerce, but as the ability to let go and be swept away by the wind, the breath of creation, to an unknown place and truly know ourselves for the first time.