There is a story about a man who travels through a desert searching for escape. He stumbles over a dune and there at the base of the dune, he sees a river flowing, it’s waters sparkling in the sun. On the other side, he sees what looks like the land of paradise. Lush. Green. Full of trees heavy with fruit.
He races to the river’s edge and drinks deeply.
He stays there for awhile, catching his breath, letting his body grow strong again.
Eventually, he gets up, scours the water’s edge for wood and makes a raft.
Happily, he rows across to the other side. He climbs off his raft and sets off to explore paradise.
But first, he decides to take his raft with him. Just in case.
Eventually, he grows tired. Bone weary tired. The raft weighs so much. But he cannot put it down. ‘What if I come upon another river that needs crossing?’ he asks himself.
And so he continues to stumble along until finally, he cannot take another step. He falls to the ground and his boat falls with him.
We are all at home now. At least those of us who have a home in which to shelter-in-place. And those who are not ‘out there’ saving lives, keeping us fed, keeping us safe and secure.
We are all at home.
What are you carrying on your back as you shelter-in-place? Does it serve you well?
Yesterday, I spent a few hours cleaning out the basement. My cleaning out/up began with the realization that it’s mid-April (already) and the Christmas boxes are still sitting at the bottom of the stairs, outside the storage room door. (I’d give you the story about why they weren’t on the other side of the door, but it’s not all that interesting.)
Fortunately, along with the boxes, I can now put away that tired old excuse-filled story and relax.
I feel lighter. More accomplished. More peaceful. More spacious.
And all it took to alleviate the weight of those boxes of glitter and boughs on my peace of mind, was to put them in their place.
For me, it is one of the hardest parts of our self-isolation. Whatever I’m carrying, worry, fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, resentment…, grows into a heavy-burden when I do nothing about it. Because I am sharing this space with my beloved, sometimes, the presence of the undone, unmentioned, unspoken creates choppy waters between us.
Fact is, I think I was kind of secretly wishing, hoping, thinking, he’d put all the boxes away. I mean, I took Christmas down. Why can’t he put it all back where it belongs? You with me?
Probably because his COPD makes tasks that require lifting and moving of things very challenging. Probably because it hurts him to breathe when he over-exerts.
It does not hurt me.
What hurts is when my mind goes round and round in circles of discontent, nattering about the ‘why me’s?’ of everyday living.
When your home is your boat, it’s not just what you carry with you that makes a difference in how smooth or choppy the waters upon which you sail. It’s also about how lovingly you navigate the messy places too.
Yesterday, I got rid of a weight on my shoulders that had no purpose other than to weigh me down. In getting the job done, I released myself of the guilt-riddled anxiety and self-defeating grumbles of resentment that arose every time I walked down the stairs and saw all the boxes sitting by the basement door.
Today, the skies are clear and my sails are set for smooth sailing.
I feel lighter of heart. More expansive in nature.
And all it took was the willingness (and a wee bit of elbow grease) to right my boat by ridding it of the ego-driven thoughts and things that were weighing me down.
When your home is your boat and your boat is your home, carrying unwanted baggage makes the journey a struggle between ego and will or compassion and Love.
When your home is your boat and your boat is your home, jettisoning the things you know do not serve you well, creates space for harmony, joy, peace and intimacy to blossom. In the beautiful garden of their nature, you are free to enjoy the waters of your day sparkling in the light of Love.
The question is: Are you willing to put down the things you are carrying that do not create harmony, joy, peace and intimacy as you sail through your day?