Humor me - yes the title might be cheesy and laughable but it might be refreshing. :)
The other day as I sat by a pool the thought came to me that life might be like our experience by the pool. As I observed the water reflecting the rays of the sun and saw children playing I flashed back to the time when I learned to swim.
I was 14 years-old when I began taking swimming lessons. Most other kids in the class were under the age of 8 except for my sister who was 12 years-old. I was scared by comparison to many of those younger kids. Sometimes the kids would encourage me to just jump in. Jumping in scared me since I didn’t know how to float yet. Fortunately, I stuck to the swimming lessons and once I learned it made going into the pool a lot more fun.
Before we learn to swim we can have fun in the pool by staying on the shallow side, or holding on to the edge of the pool, or trusting a more experienced swimmer to keep us safe. We have more choices when we learn to swim. Of course if we respect or abide by the rules of the pool area there is harmony and more fun for all. Perhaps life is this way too.
Our parents or caretakers do their best to keep us safe until we learn what is safe and what is not. We are constantly discovering, learning and adapting as we age. If we fail to adapt then we fail to survive. And we intrinsically want to survive and thrive. We admire those who thrive. We recognize that there is meaning and purpose in the lives of those who are thriving.
Maybe those who thrive in life dive in deeper. Perhaps it is about finding the depth that feels just right for us. Just as a pool has a shallow and deep end so there are individuals who prefer to remain on the surface of things while others prefer more depth. No wrong or right just different preferences and personalities. I find more satisfaction in depth.
For some time now I have been wanting to know my purpose in this lifetime. It seems like knowing our purpose is what gives life more meaning.
I recently saw a post on facebook that made me reflect. The post read: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” It is true I want to share my gifts. I believe we all have gifts. The thing is I am not certain what my gifts are so how can I be sharing them?
My thought has been -I cannot carry out my purpose without knowing my gifts. That is a powerfully disempowering or negative thought. It is telling myself that I have no purpose until I know my purpose. It is keeping myself hostage. What if I have been sharing my gifts- just without realizing it?
Lets be honest we don’t like unknowns and while some surprises are nice the unknown is often uncomfortable. We may feel powerless when we don’t know. And yet what is unknown and uncomfortable can create transformation. Doing what we fear can liberate us. Just as learning to swim was scary for me but then freed me to enjoy time in a pool. Sometimes learning to be with the unknown is empowering. There can be freedom in not knowing. For me the powerlessness of not knowing has time after time turned my attention back to God-the Universal loving wise power.
Truly what we yearn for as human beings is joy, love and freedom to create. My desire is to live more fully and deeply by the terms of my heart. Why? In the heart abide compassion, joy, strength and Love. These qualities are always readily available in the heart. I know so long as I can breathe, think, have a kind heart and spirit I have much to give and receive.
We cannot give what we don’t have. So what fun would a dry pool be? In my opinion that is what the mind offers a dry pool.
The heart offers space to splash around. Like water in a pool I am part of a timeless cosmic whole and every molecule in me flows and has meaning. There is no separation of water in a pool. Likewise awakened to the the true self the boundary between you and me is lost.
I know I increase the chances of awakening to my true self by continuing the process of wholehearted self-inquiry. “I” the questioner invite the question and the response points back to me and in time it shall reveal the faceless awareness in an eternal embrace.
I may not know the purpose of my life yet there is meaning to my life. Appreciating both the simple and complex things is the beauty of life. Life taken too seriously or personally destroys the fun and magic of life. I hate to miss the fun in life because I am trying to be where I am not. Looking to the future or regretting the past is pointless. Presence is key. During childhood we are present to the moment enjoying the simple things and our curiosity has us exploring everything in sight. Perhaps that is why as we age we become like young children again. In old age we slow down to notice the things we may have forgotten to appreciate like flowers, lady bugs and children playing.
Time after time the meaning of life is in everything done with love. And everything done from the heart has purpose. Our purpose is to tap into the joy. Our joy is giving and receiving love. To love and let ourselves be loved is freedom.
So I can sit by the pool and enjoy or I can jump in, splash around, and enjoy. My choice, my life.
One of these days when I least expect it “I” will dive in as I refuse to sit on the periphery of life. And when my purpose is revealed my fidelity to it will be an utter joy.