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Going With The Flow

By Angel Shadow

Water. It doesn't struggle to conquer the steep uphill battle it sometimes finds itself up against. It will always flow smoothly, following a path that moves it effortlessly around any obstacles placed in it's way. The large boulder is no match for the sure and steady flow of water. It simply splits and moves around it, until it meets itself again on the other side, surrounding the boulder, but not necessarily overcoming it. Eventually, the boulder may become a part of the flow. The two have learned to work together.

Water carries within itself the history of it's flow. It takes a piece of every place it's been and carries it along. Some items become stuck along the shore, while others remain flowing in the steady stream. The items that become stuck, may find a new home, but remain close to the flow. Some cling tightly to their newfound bank of security, while others let go and become subject to the whirling pools of the endless journey. Water is emotional and moody and our human emotions bare a striking resemblance. Try to contain us for too long and we'll desire freedom, releasing ourselves with whatever force is necessary to obtain our goal - to become free and flowing without restriction.

The one lesson water has tried to teach that we haven't quite grasped is to stop constantly trying to flow up a steep hill. But what if our path leads us to a mountain? Aren't we suppose to climb these mountains to gain knowledge, strength and experience? How do we accomplish this if we always flow along the easiest path?

Water doesn't flow straight uphill, but it does find valleys and paths along the way. A slight incline is not going to stop a strong steady flow and water understands a sudden, steep incline could stop it dead in its tracks. Water is interested in a happy ending. A place to quietly pool and rest. This is another thing humanity and water have in common, but water has learned the mystery of the mountain. To find the valleys and paths that lie "inside" the difficult journey. The nooks and crannies that move us over the mountain, but don't require scaling the steep wall. This is the secret. Lessons will be as intense as our emotional reactions allow them to be. So we can scale the wall or find our nook and cranny. Either way, the mountain will come eventually.

We have to take life as it comes. Not trying to control or force issues, but find our own personal path that will lead us to the other side of our mountain. For some, this will mean putting on those spiked hiking boots and tackling the rocky, steep incline. For others, it's the nook and crannies that lie beside or through that steep hill. It's a personal choice and one that has to be made consciously if we are to succeed.

We get to choose what kind of day we're going to have as well as how we're going to let life's events control us. Do we let them pull us down into our own self-created hell or do we take a stand within ourselves and say no? The scene can be re-written at any time. We simply have to believe in the new ending. The ending that will eventually lead to the happiness we seek. Our quiet pool after a long flow of events and an ending that heralds a new beginning. A new doorway that leads to a hallway with even more doors. Choices. Decisions. All of our making. We have to trust ourselves that we know how to make the right choices and recognize the opportunities as they present themselves.

What lies behind door #1? Door #2? We'll never know unless we find the courage to open them and find out. No matter what, the experience gained will be beneficial to our growth or it wouldn't have been presented to us in the first place. There are no mistakes. Regret is a word that should be removed from the vocabulary of life. All doors, even if they lead to a dead end, have an opportunity for growth. A shut door can be reopened if we decide to remove ourselves from that particular path. You can always move back into the hallway of life and choose a different door.

Like water, we flow in and out of these doors. Moving around obstacles and making choices. Finally, we find ourselves standing before a ship. A ship that we ourselves created through free will and determination. A ship that will carry us "on" the water, not confined "inside" its flow. We rise above and control our course. We stand firmly at the helm and as we take control of the wheel, we look ahead to a new horizon.

Copyright © 2003 Angel Shadow
My ancestry is Irish and Cherokee Indian and I have a gypsy spirit that refuses to be fenced in. I am definitely not a conformist. Much of my life was spent under the control of others. I have now found my own personal freedom, based on my own personal truth and nothing could be more liberating.

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