In the words of Eknath Easwaran, spiritual teacher and author ~
“My grandmother, my spiritual teacher, used to tell me that the pain we associate with the great change called death arises from our innumerable selfish attachments. One day she illustrated this in a simple way by asking me to sit in a chair and hold tight to the arms. Then she tried to pull me out of the chair. She tugged and pulled at me, and I held on tight. It was painful. She was a strong person, and even though I held on with all my strength, she pulled me out. Then she told me to sit down again, but this time not to hold on anywhere, just to get up and come to her when she called. With ease I got out of the chair and went to her. This, she told me, is how to overcome the fear and pain of death. When we hold onto things – houses, cars, books, guitars, and our antique silver teapot – we get attached and tied down.”
I think this relates to life as well as death. When we fear change and letting go we die a little every day. Think of changing jobs, moving, divorce, disabilities, loss and more. Survivors can let and have faith in themselves and not fear change. Learn from those you admire because of their attitude towards life. I am working on my gratitude every morning and instead of getting angry at our children when they need my help I am learning to become grateful for the fact that I am able to help them.
It is not enough just to put your foot forward and touch it lightly to the ground; you must put your weight on it completely. When we do take that step – by bearing patiently with those around us, or by changing some unhealthy habit – we can be sure that he will run toward us. But we must take the first step.
I recalled an experience I had in a local cemetery. I was out jogging and ran through this area repeatedly. One day, after a snow storm, I had to struggle to run through the deep snow, but the next day I could use my previous footsteps and it was easier. Then it all froze, due to a temperature change, and I realized I could break my ankle if I didn’t step directly into the previous footprints. So I changed my direction and began a new path to run on. I learned that there are times we can follow the steps others have taken, and times in our life when we need to create our own path. I wrote the following poem about my new-found wisdom.
I trudged through the snow finding my way
deciding where I will go on this day
the snow is deep
the path a struggle
and then I see
someone has walked this path before
I follow his footsteps
the walk is easier
I realize god doesn’t have to carry me
there are many gods who precede me
and create one set of footprints where many may go
Peace and Love,