The creek was literally the property line where I grew up. I spent my days crossing the creek to get to my cousin’s house. I either could traverse by rocks where the water flowed over the dirt road, or I could steady myself across a makeshift bridge positioned between both creek banks. Throughout my lifetime I’ve crossed the creek many times. I’ve waded through the water, jumped from rock to rock, and even straddled logs to get from bank to bank. Sometimes I’ve fallen in and other times I’ve cleared the water. Every time I got wet, I came up with a new strategy for crossing the next time. It could have been adding bigger rocks or placing them closer together. I may have even just needed to steady myself before taking that first step. But always, I tried just one more time. Practice really does make perfect, well maybe not perfect but possible. Metaphorically speaking, I’ve had to cross many rocks along the creek that runs through my life.
Insecurity has been a hard rock to jump over. It has taken me many attempts to trust myself. My gut instinct is almost always on target, yet I struggle to believe I know what I am doing or where I am going. I have never quite felt safe. I always thought everything and everyone was bigger and better than me. Though I craved security, I never realized that I had often been the obstacle in my own path. Only through reflection have I recently realized that I’ve always had available the tools I needed for self growth, but was to afraid to use them.
This brings me to the rock of fear. I have grown up emotionally afraid of almost everything unfamiliar to me. I lacked courage in so many ways. I probably would have done a better job if I’d closed my eyes and not seen where I was going. Seeing is what caused my fear. Once I saw what was in front of me, my thought process took over and paralyzed me. Had I felt my way across the creek, I’d have gotten to the other side much quicker. Eventually, I found the courage to rationalize and trust myself. In trusting I learned that if I got wet, I’d dry in time…all I needed was a little sunshine.
I was once in a place of sadness. I didn’t know that most of it stemmed from selfishness. I was focused on myself and how others affected me. I wasn’t confident I had anything of value to offer others, nor had I examined how my actions and reactions affected them. I lived wanting the world to change, not knowing that simply altering my own heart would shift my small world. I removed myself as a victim in my world and began to live victoriously. When I instilled generosity into my life, joy, peace, and harmony naturally found their way into my life.
The most difficult rock for me to step across was anxiety. My life was based on apprehension. I was a bundle of nervous energy waiting for the world around me to collapse. I had to retrain my thought process and adjust my view. I had to stop thinking about what could happen. I had to stop worrying about the future and start living in the now. I had to learn to focus on the positive aspects of life and let go of negativity. This was also the most important step I’ve ever taken. It was life changing. This very process me led me to the inner peace I never knew existed.
Many times I’ve rearranged the rocks in my life. I’ve had to rebuild dams, piling rocks higher in certain areas and removing them all together in other spaces. The result has been freely flowing water with the creation of lovely falls. My dam is stronger in some places and needs continuous reinforcement, but such is life. Ever constant and ever changing, but beautiful all the same.