Water on a Rock

Photo by Wendi Kelly

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.”

~Lao Tzu

I spent part of last week gazing at the sea. The peaceful, powerful, amazing sea, and was reminded of a lesson that does not come naturally to my fiery, high-speed personality. I came back re-energized, promising myself I would take the lesson to heart and practice the day-to-day reminder. It’s an important one for me.

You see, in my basic nature, I tend to want what I want when I want it. I wasn’t in line the day that patience was doled out. I’ve had to grow it, little by little from a tiny seed.

I have what my family calls “Laser Focus” and can zero in on a goal like a sharp beam of light until it’s quickly mine. It is a great trait to have and has helped me be very successful, but that method of success has sometimes left me very unbalanced with a trail of mess strewn in my tornadoed path. It has taken life (and family and friends) a lot of effort to teach me the lessons of slowing down and yielding and I have to admit, I’m probably still not scoring an A Plus all the time.

However, in the past few years, the best successes I have had are because I have learned to do better. Little by little, life is managing to teach me the lesson of Water on the Rock.

I’m married to a man who is brilliant at it. He doesn’t yell, he doesn’t rant or carry on, no theatrics or dramatic outpourings for his cause. He just states his observation or thought and puts it out there. You might think it’s forgotten.

It never is.

His goals are quietly, assuredly, step-by-step, day-by-day, moving to their natural conclusion while everyone else has taken their eye off the ball. One day you wake up and realize he has gotten exactly what he had wanted all along.

He wears life down by being patient, consistent, flexible and fluid. Life never sees him coming until he has already passed it by.

Like water on a rock.

I’ll admit, it can be a little frustrating when I’m the rock. His gentle methods win over my flash and fire every time. However, at other times, it is amazing to watch the mystery in action.

It’s a lot like Baby Steps. Or biting off only one bite of an elephant at a time. Or one drop of water beating down on a rock until it has worn away a hole.

I think if we reflect on the times in our lives that we have our best achievements, we will see that many of them have been when we grabbed hold of the secret of Water on the Rock. We might not have done it on purpose, or maybe we did, but perhaps we fell into a rhythmic pattern, a confident, flexible, consistent and persistent path that led us to the forgone conclusion of success that was always ours.

You see, the water NEVER fails. It takes time…but in the end, it always beats the rock.

Comments

  1. Wendy, what a great idea–to pair the Lao Tsu quote with your vacation photo and then to tell a story about your husband’s style of achieving goals. I can identify with all of it–the wisdom literature, the ocean-side vacation, and even the husband. :-)

    I look out the window watching my own husband mowing the lawn, step by step, until its done. Inspiration flows from so many sources today. Thank you.

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