The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects
(This was originally shared on another lovely blog which has since been taken down. I’m reposting it here, as a reminder to myself as well.)
We all have our paths to walk down in life. As we walk we experience the things we tend to experience – the valleys, the marshes, the darkness of the woods. Sometimes we travel alone. Sometimes we travel with others for a time, and then our paths diverge again.
As we walk down our life’s path, we get to do some clearing along the way. The brush gets thick and we clear it, some branches have fallen and we move them to the side.
But every so often on our path we come across an immoveable object, a boulder that creates such an obstacle that we can not move. A scary diagnosis. A heavy divorce. A lost job. A project that flops and leaves us broke. An overtired child melting down. A running injury that sidelines us. The engine that couldn’t.
It’s funny when we look at life’s immoveable objects and how we usually respond to them.
We tend to push and push and push against them, insisting we can move them or force them, without so much as a budge on their part. We pound our fists and wail and scream and stomp our feet and shout our injustices and curse this thing in our way and say it must be out to get us (and only us). But of course, the boulder – the immovable object in our path – doesn’t mind. It stays what it is; an immoveable object.
Other times we admit defeat. We sit down in front of this looming barrier, maybe even leaning our whole being against it, and we sink into our despair. We tell ourselves this is just how it is, this is where our journey stops, we’re not allowed, not good enough or deserving enough or loved enough to move forward. And again, that object remains what it is.
We spend a shitload of time with these immoveable objects instead of just doing what the obvious thing would be:
Move on around it.
I don’t go for a hike expecting the mountain to rearrange itself to open up a path for me. I don’t move through the woods insisting the trees adjust their lean to create my perfect clearing. I expect rocks, boulders, the possibility of obstacles. I look forward to them. To the divergence they may inspire, a new view they may reveal.
I don’t fight it. I move through it. I diverge from a path. I climb over a boulder. I seek out the clearing (or the place where the sun peeks through the leaves) without any thought of what should be or shouldn’t be, or what it means or is saying about me. That would be as crazy as it sounds.
I don’t try to move immoveable objects. Without missing a beat, I become the one who moves.
I use to think that meditating meant the absence of thought. I’m coming to understand that’s not true. Thoughts will still come. It’s just my relationship to them that changes.
In Life, immoveable objects will arise in the same way our thoughts arise. No amount of enlightenment will suddenly make the Universe stop being the Universe. It actually doesn’t rearrange itself to support us. Instead, it helps us rearrange our ideas, our perspectives, our patterns, our relationship to the mountains and the boulders they drop in our path, so that we can fall in alignment with the greater awareness of what actually already is and wants to be.
When we fight life, trying to make it our version of Perfect, we miss the very thing Life is trying to offer us…the ability to experience all that shit and not see it as shitty, to come across any immoveable object and take it in stride. To feel grounded and at peace, regardless of the ground we’re walking through.
It’s not a sign of an “enlightened person” that they have no immovable objects. What makes us enlightened is HOW we experience it and if we forget whether it still means nothing.
And this is what I’m always learning. It means nothing. We don’t need to push, force, warp, control, or fight what is happening around us. We only need to become witness to what is happening within us.
Yup, again. Get out of your head. Get into your heart.