The stepping stones of choice
Choices…… what if it doesn’t matter all that much which choices you make because all of them will be the right ones for you at the right time. What if it REALLY doesn’t matter that much? There is no wrong choice. You just do the best you can knowing that every choice builds upon the other and shapes your life. Every choice gives you an opportunity for clarity. You can take it or ignore it. If you ignore the clarity, it will surely come back in the form of another choice. Giving you yet another opportunity and choice point. Eternal....never ending.
But what do all these choices have to do with anything anyway? Aren’t they just thrown at us in some sort of hodgepodge rapid fire motion? Does it feel like we are fending off all the choices as they come at us, seeming to hit us squarely in the face OR did we invite all of them in by way of our asking and requests; all of our wants and desires for ourselves. I guess that’s simply a matter of perspective.
I like knowing that all our choice opportunities are just that, opportunities. Maybe everyone doesn’t look at it that way. IDK. I like knowing that every choice is the right choice in the right moment and there are no wrong choices. Let’s just throw out that right and wrong stuff. Choices and more choices, all leading you to what you’re asking for. I like that. Sometimes it feels like the long way around and a bit more arduous of a path than you “think” you want. But what if it’s exactly what you need in the given moment? You may need to experience this or that as a small little step onto the next stepping stone.
A metaphor emerges....
I see me standing on the edge of a stream, wanting to make it to the other side without falling in or getting my shoes wet. What do I do? I look out at where I want to go in relation to where I am now. How much water is there? How many stones? How far a distance? How strong is my desire to get to the other side? I want to go. I don’t know what’s on the other side but staying here doesn’t feel as good as going over there. Over there is a place of exploration and I want to get there. I start out and I notice that I really don’t want to fall in. I really don’t want to get wet. If I take too long thinking about my next step, I lose my balance and have to work super hard to stay in that place of not falling off. So I look out straight and ahead of me gauging my next steps and several in front of me. I just keep moving and choosing my stepping stones in a rather quick and decisive way - here, then here, then here, keep going, don’t think about it, look to the next one, step, move, keep going. There’s a flow to my steps and a balance when I do it that way. When I think about losing my balance, I get very close to that happening. I refocus ahead and keep choosing stones and moving forward. 3 stones left to go till the other side. My pace quickens because I see the other side and my body almost glides over those last 3 stones as I triumphantly plant my feet on the other side. I did it! I really didn’t think about how I could or would do it, I just knew I wanted it. If I stopped to map out the distance between each rock, how long it would take, how big I stride I could take, how much effort and physical stamina I had, I would be stuck thinking about it and never take the first step. There’s no way of knowing exactly how that crossing will go when I start out. All I have is my willingness and my desire to do so.
Now I could have been OK with getting wet or even falling in. If the water was temperate and the day was hot, what would it matter? Just walk straight thru the water, skipping the stone balancing act all together. I guess it just depends on the temperature of the water and my tolerance for/of it. In this case I noticed I didn’t want to get wet or fall in. I really didn’t consider any other option and all my actions (balancing, stepping carefully, and maybe holding my breath a little) supported getting across in the way I determined it should happen.
And now, in light of the metaphor, I’m reminded that often we spend incredible amounts of time looking at where we are now and where we want to go while attempting to create thru AVOIDANCE. Have you noticed words like – “I don’t want this or this or this”. What often follows is “I better do nothing to rock the boat” or “I’ll just think it over to death and never have to get off the edge of the bank”. So what if you might fall in. Is that your primary focus? Are you focused on not falling in or getting to the other side to the adventure and exploration? And note…. There’s a big difference between wanting to get away by going to the other side vs being called to the other side by anticipation and inspiration. How do you know the other side will be different? You don't. All you bring with you is yourself and your attitude. If the other side holds adventure and exploration, then that’s what it shall be if your focus is there. If the other side holds an escape from where you are now, be mindful, you take your attitude with you and are likely to create more of the same on the other side. Just take inventory before you go. Ask the clarity question – am I heading toward or moving away from?
This type of imagery experience happens to me ALL the time. Images and scenes pop into my head with deep meaning woven inside. I notice the rich information that emerged from this one. I get what it means personally for me - “don’t overthink your path”. Just notice where you want to go and why, in a gentle way and then trust that those choice stones will be there beneath your feet. Keep that forward motion going in balance, not stopping to ponder too long or look down and get scared or think you may not make it. Look to the other side, let it draw you to it and orchestrate your footsteps and your balance. Again….trust that those stones will be there and your balance and focus will carry you to the other side. And it will.