I have a confession to make, in the wee small hours of the night, you can find me many times perched on the sofa in the recliner, ruminating about a myriad of things from, how to get the stain out of my son’s Lacrosse uniform, fantasizing about David Beckham, to wondering why I am so obsessed with forensic science, among, but not limited to, many other dark thoughts that I won’t mention.
So last night as the clock ticked on, I was listening to the song Waterfalls by TLC. In the song the line that always gets me is:
Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast
Clearly the song is about someone with addiction, and how they are always chasing that something more in an attempt to reach that euphoric high. But to me, it always had another meaning. It was more of, that person in your life, who may feel they have your best interests at heart, but find they are always whispering that little thing in your ear to throw you off kilter, make you doubt yourself, and desperately trying to not only keep you in your comfort zone, but in theirs. They do this because, by you changing, they will be forced to change, and they have grown accustomed to the way the relationship is. They like things just the way they are, thank you very much, and don’t need you upsetting the balance, with your pesky need for adventure, and your quest to find yourself. In essence what they are saying is, stick to what you know…our level of comfort, don’t rock the boat, and we will all be happy just the way things have always been.
There were times growing up when I could feel this sentiment from my parents in one form or another, and in essence what they wanted was compliance from me so they didn’t have to worry about me being rebellious, and maybe getting into something that I shouldn’t that would cause them more worry. It was meant for my protection, but it also was a way to control what they felt was out of their control. Friends did this as well, when they sensed that the climate of our relationship was becoming unbalanced. Whether it was due to me introducing new friends into our circle, trying new things, or simply new ways to spend our weekends. You could feel the tension whenever there was the sense that I wanted to venture out and see what was just beyond the confounds of what was familiar, and doing this seemed to feed their insecurities.
The thing is, denying that call to seek out what is yearning in your soul, leads to resentment, anger, anxiety, depression, and a clear disconnect. You are in essence, denying who you are and who you are destined to be, when you make concessions that feel less than empowering, and more like settling. You are playing it safe for the sake of the other person’s fears of who you will become, what you will achieve, and how this will impact THEM If you change your path, where does that leave them? Will you still be the same person they know? Will the dynamic of the relationship still be recognizable? Will they have to learn new things as a result of your new lifestyle? At the end of this is fear of change. If you change and grow, ultimately so will they, and for many people, this is way more painful to accept than letting go of the person they use to know, and letting the relationship dissolve.
I think when you live a life with intent and purpose, it is for the most part, like a series of chasing waterfalls. You are on one path and this may serve you for a time, but then you find the restlessness of your soul calling to you, above the din in moments of quiet contemplation, and when that happens, there are only two paths you can ultimately chose. To stay safe and not venture out, or go and emerse yourself in the pureness of the waterfall that will cleanse you of your sins, and quench your thirst for the longing that has awakened and called to you. As we are ever-changing and evolving there are many times that we will feel we are at the precipice of life, our life, and we will need to stay in faith and do what is best for us. Sometimes it will be met with resistance and anger, sometimes we will find support and guidance, other times it will be the final calling and we will we are finally at home and at peace with life.
Yes, it can be scary to venture out into unchartered territory, it can be a great source of anxiety and a feeling of total desperation, having the uneasy feeling, that the outcome will either be, we sink or we swim. But ultimately, if we remain in faith, trust our intuitive self, and feel the fear and do it anyway, in spite of that fear, we will be rewarded with the bounty that comes from succeeding, from forging a life that feels authentic, and from the inner peace of fulfilling our destiny.
In the end, if we lose some people along the way, I tend to believe that means our destiny is completed with them, and there are others along the path our souls must meet. Same is true when we lose sight of things that once were meaningful, such as jobs that we find no longer appeal to or serve us, places that we frequented that lose their appeal, even hobbies that no longer foot the bill, and often times, I believe we find more significant and better things along the way. I for one, intend to chase as many waterfalls as needed to satisfy my thirst for life.
So even if your waterfall, is more like the dribble of a leaky faucet, that’s truly ok. Sometimes it’s more about the journey then the destination, and it is perfectly acceptable and strongly encouraged, to take a sip, then to die of thirst!