It's pretty common to use metaphors to help explain what life is all about. We are high performance cars and we must fuel ourselves with the highest quality gas/fuel, and and make sure we bring ourselves into the best mechanics and auto-body people to constantly tune up and keep the thing running smoothly and perfectly (and looking clean and beautiful) for as long as possible. Makes sense.
This past weekend I was out in the woods, doing my little "hang with me" thing. I run around, stroll around, go off the trail and explore, climb trees, boulder rocks, and usually find a perfect spot to lay down and take a nap to completely clear my head of everything that's going on back in the "real world". I found a mossy rock deep in the woods about 10 miles from my place and as I was lying there I stared up into the swaying trees and though about the metaphor of us being like trees. Trees bend with the wind, but rarely, if ever, break. They adapt to their surroundings and are shaped and designed so that they can grow to be hundreds, and sometimes thousands of years old. Nature is one of the most brutal killers, and yet trees seem to withstand the test of time. Never really changing who they are, but dealing with the aggression of the world as it knows how.
Just watching them move in the wind is fascinating. They glide back and forth so calmly as the wind pushes through their branches and leaves. They just move side to side, chilling out there in the woods without a care in the world. What if we could live our lives like that? Nothing really effecting us in a bad way, just easily moving with our surroundings and never letting anything break us.
I was watching these trees dance in the wind and thought of some other metaphors for life. I thought of the idea of being a rock. Well, the sandstone rock I was on seemed to be pretty stable there. But when the harsh winds blew, it would mold itself over time, into a different form to adapt to those winds. While a rock seems to be never-changing in its space, it actually is a silent adapter. All the elements can change the structure of a rock over time, no matter how tough it thinks it is.
A friend of mine told me about a story his mother used to always tell him: you have a pot of boiling water and you can put three things in there, a carrot, an egg, and a coffee bean. When you put the carrot in the water, it softens. The tough, hard veggie reacts to the heat and becomes mushy and malleable. When you place the egg in the water, it hardens. The soft, liquid insides react to the heat by toughening up and becoming dense. And when you put the coffee bean in the water, the bean does not change at all; the water changes.
I've always like metaphors, I think they paint fun pictures and allow you to have different perspectives of your life. But in the end, we are not cars, or trees, or rocks, or carrots, or eggs, or coffee beans; we are people. Metaphors can and should be used to help build the imagination and help us understand that we are all connecting to so many things. But in the end, I find that so many people are disconnected with themselves that the only way for them to understand a situation is to make it NOT about them. Let's take the car example: we are people, we are highly functioning and NEED to put the absolute best nutrients in our body at all times. We need to constantly fill our bodies with those nutrients. We need to take ourselves to the best doctors, and other health professionals, clean ourselves, research how we work and make sure we are being taken care of on a daily basis so that we can last for a long time, and always be functioning well. Sadly this is rare to see. A lot of people just don't understand this.
People sometimes seem to understand how to take care of cars better than themselves.
To live to be old, and happy, we would be better off taking all the harshness of the world and just going with the flow. If we stand up to it with the same energy it's coming at us, we will be effected negatively by it no matter what. It may effect us quickly, it may take time, but it will break us down. And when we can calmly sway through the crazy of the world, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, and this allows us to change the world rather than have the world change and break us.
Just some musings for your Tuesday. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, I hope it makes you think a little.
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