One day while sitting by the lake I had a spiritual a-ha moment.
Though it might sound a little strange, I connected a lot of what I’ve read from spiritual sources to the light-reflected sparkles on Lake Michigan.
Weird? Maybe, but stick with me.
While staring at the water on the horizon, I connected the idea of universality (the idea that we are all separate and yet connected to one another) to the billions of water droplets in the lake.
Technically, there are tons of individual units of water within an otherwise indivisible lake. This is like us as people, too, but we have a hard time recognizing our connection is truly thatclose because our egos want to believe in separateness and specialness.
I’m special. I’m unique. I’m different. These are the echos of our ego and much of modern society.
Though there may be some truth to the uniqueness that our egos desperately cling to, we all are inextricably linked beyond what we comprehend – at least most of the time.
The differences we have are miniscule compared to what we have in common. It’s like a water droplet saying it’s “so different” because it’s in the harbor, instead of outside the harbor. In reality, water droplets in both parts of the lake are only a few dozen feet apart. They look the same, they have most of the same chemistry, etc.
I also noticed that some parts of the water sparkled, some remained neutral, and some reflected shadows. Just like the photo you see above.
What fascinated me most were the sparkles along the horizon that seemed to glisten like LED lights on a Christmas tree. It was spectacular to watch all of the little bursts of light bounce around the lake.
To me, the sparkling water symbolized the essence of what spiritual teachings mean when they say we need to “be still.”
The glistening patches of water didn’t do anything very different than the darker water patches. They didn’t “force” themselves to sparkle, they simply reflected the light above.
The shining water showed me it was up to us as humans to simply reflect the light, connectedness, and power that is within our intuition or spirit at all times.
We don’t need to go out into the world forcing things to happen. We simply need to share our light, and in doing so we naturally harness the power within ourselves to live to our fullest potential.
No striving. No ego. Just reflecting the peace and presence that is within ourselves at all times.
For a while, I thought this was the entire lesson the water had to teach me. But yesterday I gleaned a new understanding from this water metaphor and how it relates to controlling others.
While Mr. Lively and I took Franklin on a morning walk, we saw a man standing in front of the water sparkles. At first, I thought he was practicing Tai Chi, but I soon realized he was actually practicing his boxing skills.
Seeing this man punching the air in the direction of the water sparkles immediately reminded me of what our egos look like when it they force things to happen without consulting our deeper intuition for advice.
It looked difficult and ultimately pointless. The man by the water, in my water sparkle metaphor, was completely unproductive. He was simply wasting time trying to “make something happen.”
At first, I thought this was the end of the metaphor. But then I got another lesson about that boxer that directly related to my own life.
Though I am well-meaning, I can have the tendency to try to help people in my personal life (okay, let’s be real, I’m talking about Mr. Lively here) so strongly that it can sometimes border on controlling.
If I have a suggestion that might help him “sparkle” in some area of his life, I can get really pushy and/or frustrated when he doesn’t follow my suggestions.
Do I come from a good place? Yes, at least in the beginning. I truly do want to help him in any possible way that I can, but that doesn’t mean that I can force him to do anything that might help him in some area of his life just because I think that it could help.
In reality, that boxer punching at the water is actually me when I’m putting too much emphasis on what I think he should or shouldn’t do in some part of his life.
I keep thinking that if I tell him what I think he should do long enough, that he’ll realize I’m right and just do it. But really, I’ve just separated myself from the water by going on land and air punching.
A completely useless action when it comes to making water sparkle in this scenario.
Instead, I would be better off staying in the water and sparkling myself. Sure, I can make suggestions. But more importantly, I need to simply model what I suggest and let him figure out – at his own pace – what is best.
Punching the air to make the water sparkle is as ridiculous as trying to force someone we love to do what we think they should do.