We all have difficult times in life—difficult situations, difficult choices, and difficult interactions. Even a river occasionally flows over rocky outcrops and forest debris on its way to the sea. But most importantly, the river keeps flowing to get there.
That’s what we do throughout our lives, we keep moving forward, over the obstacles, through the disappointments, and past the pain and the losses; we just keep “keepin’ on.” Or that is our best intention—to get to the other side of the issue or the conflict, or get beyond the tremendous feeling of loss from losing someone or something we love.
That’s where the river has an advantage over us in its continuous natural flow—it doesn’t keep dragging all those memories and emotional tangles with it. River debris gets shoved to the side or pushed into a pile somewhere, and left there while the river moves onward. It’s the natural rhythm of life, letting go and moving on to new territory and new challenges, leaving the past behind as the evidence of once having been there.
A river definitely knows how to move on—to just BE the flow. Unfortunately for many of us, we may not know how to let go of all that old mental and emotional accumulation still clinging to us—making it difficult to move forward with our lives.
That’s the importance of recognizing what we are still hanging on to, so we are aware of what might be dragging us down or preventing our forward movement if we feel stagnant and blocked.
Again, I’ll mention journaling as a means to get whatever is bothering you out of your head and onto paper, so you can see for yourself what is foremost in your mind and still clogging your thought processes—plugging your flow—preventing you from moving forward.
To truly let go, it helps to know what you need to let go of, and to decide where in your mental filing cabinet you are going to place it—in the “Ancient History/Lessons-Learned” file or the “Still-In-Process/Can’t-Get-Past-it” file. Sometimes that “Can’t-Get-Past-It” stuff is like raw corn mash slow-cooking in the large copper kettle between your ears.
If whatever you are still fermenting in your inner processing vat hasn’t gone the necessary time or boiled long enough to transform itself into more refined wisdom, you may need to re-stoke the flames beneath it to get it there. Wisdom distilled from tough life lessons, flows sweet and pure—untainted by the raw ingredients that created it.
Distilled wisdom—the “Lessons-Learned” aspect, is 100% proof that life is a journey, a continuous river of flow from birth to death, filled with amazing sights and scenery along the way; passing over obstacles and diversions, rolling along as the seasons change: sometimes in massive floods and sometimes in minor trickles, but always moving onward toward the greater waters awaiting it.
That hard-won, distilled wisdom is your life’s reflection staring back at you in the calm, still pool of water at your feet, wavering there with the current’s influx and the outflow, but always still reflecting YOU staring down into it. And that’s what it is meant to do.