Who said life’s lessons have to be hard? The Authors Collection.
January 13, 2014
Life is full of simple lessons. I had one the other day. It made me laugh aloud, and say to myself, “Good grief, Beca.” I was secretly glad no one saw what I had done; like a cat that slips on wet pavement and pretends that it never happened. However, here I am telling the story anyway. I can’t help myself. In fact, the second thing I said to myself was, “Hey that would make a good story for my blog.”
Let’s see what you think.
We have a wood stove that keeps the house very warm. I keep a big pot on top of the stove. In the summer, I actually use it for cooking. In the winter, it holds water. I fill the pot every morning with about four gallons of water. On extra cold days, by the next morning, it is empty.
It is about the same amount of water the dehumidifier takes out of the air in the basement on very humid days in the summer. In the summer, I pour the water out. In the winter, I pour the water in. It’s the yin and yang of seasons.
To fill the pot, I keep a two-gallon plastic pitcher in a cupboard by the sink. One morning, I was thinking about getting to a class, so while looking at the clock, I bent down and grabbed the pitcher, stuck it in the sink, turned the water on, and went to get something done for a minute, while it filled.
When I returned, I laughed. I hadn’t grabbed a pitcher; I had grabbed a strainer, and tried to fill it with water.
There is that yin yang thing again. A pitcher holds water in; a strainer lets water out.
I love that the minutia of life is always symbolic, leading the way, guiding us to the rhythm of the universe that we are either in harmony with, or out of step. This makes my pitcher and strainer a modern day version of the cloud by day and the fire by night story.
Okay, so they were leading Moses and his people to the Promised Land, perhaps making this reference to something this simple is out of proportion. On the other hand, maybe not.
What is the Promised Land but a place where harmony and good are the reigning power? Does that mean a specific land, or place. Thankfully, it doesn’t. (Don’t you wish everyone knew this?) The Promised Land lies within our own grasp as we escape from the imprisonment of false thinking.
We are escaping when we don’t jump to judgment and comparison. In the summer, we take water out of the air and in the winter, we put it back in. Neither one of them is wrong, it the way of the season. There is no reason to judge the strainer just because it didn’t hold water; its job is to let water go. If I was trying to strain spaghetti I wouldn’t grab a pitcher, its job is to hold water in.
So now, I am applying this lesson practically to my life. I ask myself to check where I am pouring my resources. What have I tried to make work one way, when it’s not meant to work that way? What idea do I think holds water, but instead lets the essence drain away?
I remind myself to not pour resources I want to make useful into something that leaks. This could be people, ideas, advertising, work things, time, attention; I see that the list is endless.
On the other hand, I have to keep filling the pitcher that holds things with something for it to hold. If I don’t turn on the water in the sink every morning, that pitcher never fills up. For example, I remind myself to purchase (fill the pitcher) the advertising that works because good advertising brings good book sales.
I know this life lesson is also a reminder to pay attention to what I am doing, and be present in the moment. However, since it did happen, instead of judging (the “Oh good grief moment”) or comparing (I bet Moses never did that; just kidding, I bet he did the exact same thing in his own way) I can use this event to learn a life lesson the easy way. Who said life lessons have to be hard? That’s only a belief, and it can be put into a strainer and drained away!
Please click the book cover image to read more about Beca Lewis and her books.