The Boulder Next Door

IMG_2105Obstacles aren’t always to be overcome. They do need to be understood. Keeping a close relationship with what is in our way does not mean that we are giving into its power. It can mean that we have made friends with it in such a way that we are challenged to discover a creative response to a difficult reality.

There are boulders. They are large, heavy, even ominous. They do not always have to be moved.

IMG_2104When we reach out to what most impedes our growth there is the very real possibility that we will form a new relationship with it. We might even learn to shake hands with each it day in recognition of its potential to overwhelm us. We respect its necessary placement as the thing we need to come up against in order to sharpen our resolve, to clarify our response to the continuous truth of unwelcome but necessary challenges.

IMG_2102We may find that in our striving to go through, the best answer is to find a way around. This is slower, plodding, frustrating to our need to figure out, complete, achieve and finish. And it also may create opportunity for a new perspective that serves to deepen the empathy we hold for ourself. When we find that we are clinging to something unmovable it can be easy to forget that we are still growing.

Staying close to the hardest thing is a sure way to stay in a conversation of possibility. Over time, we may find that what was once immovable has moved us in ways we could not have done without.

5 thoughts on “The Boulder Next Door

  1. Oh how I love big rocks! There are so many wonderful things about them, I have never seen them as obstacles. Instead they are fortification, shelter, a place for growth (lichens! ferns!). They have an endlessly fascinating surface when you take the time to really look.

    Thanks for the essay and the pictures. I’m glad I stopped in.

  2. David, you are on a roll… and giving such good food for thought. This particular offering connects to something I heard this morning – which described the mindset of Buddhism as “engaged realism”. Thanks for your good words.

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