There is nothing like a walk in silence to set you straight. The kind you take on a whim to clear your head. The one that by the end of it, if nothing else happens, you just feel better than you did when you started. That happened to me the other day. The weather was beautiful, the first of such days here in the south. I was a bit antsy and honestly, as usual, my head was bursting from too many thoughts and too much negative internal talk. I decided to escape it all and take a cruise around the grounds of our states capital and just BREATH.
Funny how things work out. I say “OK big guy, I’m putting all of this in your hands like you tell me to, now PLEASE show me a sign that you’re hearing me” and within minutes, he did.
It was on my third lap around the capitol building observing all the people enjoying the sunshine, soaking up their recommended daily allowance of happiness . I watched the groundsman mow the grass, already a thick emerald carpet of perfect striping created by every pass of his mower. I began to feel that “tuning in to the moment” thing as I passed by each happy face, making a mental note to look every person in the eye (something I try to do every time I walk). I was starting to feel connected.
As I rounded the corner I saw a spark of red in the grass about 15 feet ahead of me. I walked up closer to inspect. This perfect little gem was sitting in a hollow of grass.
Initially I thought it was growing right there in that spot, some kind of double petal tulip that burst through the ground at the first sight and warm breeze of spring. I knelt down to inspect its beauty and realized that someone had just dropped it there. It was a peony that was plucked from a nearby bush. I held it in my hand pondering the idea of taking it back to the office and keeping it on my desk.
Instead I just knelt there thinking about what finding this flower meant. It created instant joy for me. I wondered about the person that picked it from it’s home and dropped it here. Did they intend to take it back to their desk? Did they too need a sign? A bright spot in their day? It had me thinking…when I leave this spot, what have I left behind for someone else? I’ve been a bear lately, wallowing in self pity.
While not paying attention I have been burdening other’s with my negativity, adding to their own sadness and woes. What chains have I bound my life with so tightly that have had an effect on others? What good around me have I been missing when I decide to go inside and listen to the naysayers that live in my head?
How many of us do this unknowingly?
This was the sign I asked for…once again he came through for me in a most unusual and perfect way. This flower, this bright flare in a sea of green called me to its side to remind me that I was not alone and I never have been…
I decided to leave it right where I found it with the hope that someone who walked in my path would also find some form of beauty and joy that I had intentionally left for them. My heart sings at the thought that I may have done just that for another.
We are all connected by a universal love that in today’s world has been forgotten. We are locked and loaded and ready to shoot rather than trying to understand what might be going on in another person’s life causing their poor choices that effect us.
We forget to reach out to people and let them reach up…for our hand and our heart, never asking for anything in return. A simple gesture that might actually heal what ails our broken souls.
I walked back to work and returned a few minutes later with my camera to capture the image of this divinely crafted miracle. As I walked I said a prayer of gratitude for allowing me to open my heavy heart and receive the message. Through my own sorrow I saw a light shine, one that was left on by the angels that walk with me to guide me out of the darkness that can quickly overcome any one of us, at any time, if we let it.
My final walk back was interesting, I was focusing more clearly on the little details of every thing around me. I began to think of the reason I took the walk in the first place. How could I have let things get to me the way they had? Why did I let the other stuff bother me? Some things we experience in life are really sad, I’ve lived a lifetime full of that already. These ARE NOT the things that define me. For all the sadness I have had, I have had just as much happiness…because I chose to.
I have the right to choose which path I am taking and I have always loved the expression “other peoples opinions of me are NONE of my business” but somehow I still find myself driven by it, fractured by experiences I refuse to let go of from the past and or present and recently, cracking under the self induced pressure.
By not choosing to move forward with things and and continuing to hang on to them rather than letting go and letting God, we hold ourselves back from what is really best for us. We keep a death grip on something that no longer serves us. In doing so we hold up the process, the intended plan for us.
We have been conditioned to treat our pasts like the enemy letting it stalk us, rather than the good stern parent that has taught us lessons we will use for a lifetime. We attach ourselves to what “was” and let it define who we presently are, especially when what was (or what we thought it was) is no longer there.
One of my favorite inspirational speakers, Dr. Wayne Dyer says to look off the back of a boat and ask this question. Does the wake you see have the energy to push the boat forward? No, of course not, it is simply the trail that is left behind, and just like memories of hard times, it holds no power over your move forward. Yet, if we focus forward on the horizon there is a new calm view that we approach…a gorgeous beautiful peace that is filled with possibility and fresh beginnings. Our pain is our fuel, it moves us forward whether we believe it or not…have faith.
Change is a hard thing…a damaging blow from someone we love, a bad experience in a job or the loss of something or someone in our lives is so painful, it’s excruciating to just open the grip and let it fall away. If only we realized that our connection to each other was the most crucial part of navigating our way through this life, we would know when our purpose has been served and move on to the next wonderful place to begin something new and better. As Dr. Dyer states , “Stay connected to everything but attached to nothing”.
To my dear friends who are suffering through very tough times right now, remember these few things…
There will ALWAYS be rocky roads. Without them we will never know the feeling of joy when we meet it face to face in the simple things.
When harm is done remember that it is the other person’s Karma not yours so stop beating yourself up.
Through your pain react with love instead of anxiety, fear and anger.
As Mahatma Gandhi said so perfectly “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Wonderful things start to happen for you when you do.
You must CHOOSE happiness. Stop hunting it down in others actions or opinions towards you. It resides within you. TRUST THE PLAN.
And as always, “Treat your family like friends and your friends like family”.