Become a Lake

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The last couple days I’ve been repeating to myself “Be a lake. Be a lake. Be a lake.” To no avail. I have not evolved into becoming a lake yet; I am still just Batshit Crazy. As you nod in agreement, let me explain. I recently stumbled upon this:

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” said the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,
“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

So as you know, I’ve been working really hard at leading a more mindful existence; being more authentic and vulnerable; learning to sit in discomfort instead of fighting it or denying it. By most accounts I really had made great strides. Loved being so at peace in my own skin. Loved breathing through really hard things. Loved pushing myself to grow. Go me!

It is really amazing how quickly one can regress–like lose 10 years in a moment. At this moment I am not a lake, I am not mindful, I am not OK. I am in fact, Batshit Crazy. I am an embarrassment. I am not fit for public consumption. All it takes is one familiar trigger and all the lessons learned and hard-fought battles earned–gone, out the window. Hello, Crazy Girl, welcome back. Haven’t seen you in these parts in a while…

Some might say regressing is a part of the growth process, that you need to go back a few steps to gain traction and move forward again. Some might say this is temporary, and/or necessary. Quite frankly, I don’t give a shit. I just know this sucks. A friend’s husband tells her she is a Great Lake—so cute! She’s encouraging me to remember I too am a lake. Right now though, if I’m a lake, I’m a Superfund lake. Toxic, hazardous to myself, messy, and in desperate need of a cleanup. Funds, we need funds for this. Please send your monetary contributions so that I may purchase more wine. I’ve heard alcohol kills germs.

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6 Responses to Become a Lake

  1. ♡eM says:

    In keeping with your metaphors, batshit is a wondrous fertilizer, and batshit crazy could be (your choice, though, right?) an opportunity for unbelievable growth. Sometimes you just need to hunker down and wait (have that glass of wine, but not the bottle) for the weather to pass. Wait until the threat of frost has passed. Then plant, tend, water, care, fertilize, and grow. Enjoy your abundant harvest too.

    Sometimes, if your glass is truly empty and all you can taste is the bitterness of pain, you need simply ask and receive, or seek out fresh water. Dip into a deep well or reservoir. Some people’s cups truly do run over, their lakes are so full, there’s plenty of runoff. Ask for some of their fresh water, love shared.

    You will return to your lake of shining waters. You just need to make it through this drought.

    Be well, friend.

    • Thank you for the kindness, the wisdom, the support. It really touched me so deeply, thank you, my friend. BTW–it did end up being an entire bottle of wine (read next post, haha) and well, ugh. And you know, my glass isn’t empty. I haven’t tasted bitter in years. some sweet, some sour, but not bitter. I have a wonderful life full of amazing gifts (you now being one of them). Thank you for the reminder to take the perspective and force me to end my pity party :)

      • ♡eM says:

        Ah, the pity party. We’ve all been to a few of those, eh? Sometimes taking pity on ourselves, just taking the time to stew, to wallow, to let our emotions play out brings the much-needed catharsis, the cleansing. And I’m sure that wine had its effect too, although perhaps a bit too much. I’m happy to read that you’re looking up.

  2. Pokey10 says:

    You are strong and falling back on old habits just means you are human. If who we want to be were that easy, the buddhists wouldn’t be reincarnating themselves for generations on end and some never reach nirvana. Dwell in the glass for as long as you need because when you step back and see the lake, it’ll be so fresh and vivid, you’ll know what you need the next time you get close to that trigger again. We learn from our mistakes, allow yourself to learn.

    Stay strong…

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