The Doe boy, John, learned everything he knew about swimming from his parents, Mike and Mary Doe. In truth, they knew very little about swimming; but, nonetheless, they did their best to teach John how to swim. They were of good heart, but unaware of that which they were unaware (as are we, all). As a result, John was taught, by environment, that to swim effectively he must continuously pat the top of his head with one hand, while flailing the water with his other arm. He swam in circles for years.
Likewise, John was taught what was acceptable and not. Seeking love and approval, he, therefore, denied the deep callings of his heart and allowed his parents, teachers, and other influencers in his life to teach him how to be a good “person.” Thus, John believed that to be worthy he must achieve great marks (in subjects that bored him); hold a respectable career (even if the field was not of interest); be a financial success (defined by neighbours); say “yes” to keep the peace (even if such meant denying himself); be married (with children); and never, ever, be late. From his limited perspective, he came to believe that “this” must be the fabled way of becoming happy. To settle for anything less would signify that “he,” not the circumstances, was a failure.
Just as John’s swimming style appeared awful; so, also, did the quality of his life. Having sacrificed the Truth of his Being for the loud opinions of the masses and his demanding ego, he found his career, marriage, and finances in ruin. The level of his health diminished, too. The suffering he experienced was nearly unbearable. In his darkest hours, alone in his loneliness, he seriously questioned whether his life held any value.
An unexpected event changed him: One summer day, when he found himself wading into a nearby lake, he heard a faint but undeniable voice–as though spoken from within–whisper: “Just turn on your back and float. Let me carry you.” At first, John was puzzled; by both the voice and the message spoken. Could it possibly be true, that by not trying so hard, he could actually remain afloat?
Daringly, John waded into the water…to his knees, waist, and then chest. A quiver ran through his being. Leaning backward, trusting, he then let his head drop backward, while he focused skyward. With a gentle push off, he let his legs and belly rise. There, on the surface, he realized–directly–that swimming (and life itself) needn’t be such a struggle. With barely any movement at all, he floated easily.
In the coming months, John also realized that true Self, the One beyond name and form, had been there all along; patiently waiting to express Itself. As he heeded the intuitive nudges of his essential nature, other aspects of his life soon began to improve dramatically.
Dear Friends: The account of the Doe Boy is fictional, of course; but what it represents is true. If you’ve been struggling through life, please know that there is a reservoir of Divine Power within you, beyond name and form. Through the practice of self inquiry, you may knowingly recognize true Self. You don’t have to try to be That which you are. To knowingly discover that deeper dimension, you may begin by asking the following question: “Who Am I–really?” You are not a name; not a definition; not your body-mind. You are a spark of the Divine Creator, having an apparently human experience. The peace and joy that you’ve been seeking lies within.
Dare to Dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
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