There is an immense crater, the size of a small lake. Where water once flowed from a nourishing stream, it is now a barren river bed. It smells like death. Dust drifts away at the slightest breeze, deepening the crevice, cracking the ground. Where the lake used to be, the underwater plants have shriveled from the sun’s glare, lying flat against the hard, hot surface of the crater. Fish and other lake-life, suffocated and starved as the water evaporated, now rot and decay in the beating glare of the mid-day sun. Scavengers and vultures pick over the neglected remains.
And in the center, a fountain flows, wet and beautiful, vibrant and nourishing, spreading its wonder for all to see.
HUH? WHAT? HOW COULD THAT BE???
It can’t. Of course it can’t. We all know there is no fountain coming out of that wretched wasteland. Beauty doesn’t spring from the center of neglect. Life doesn’t flow from the center of death.
Yet, over and over and over again, I speak with clients and friends who lament that they just can’t justify taking the time or energy to put themselves on the A-list for self care, renewal, education, restoration, preservation, medical attention, love or even kindness.
They are too busy, they don’t like themselves, their families-jobs-art-vacation-ADHD-excuse-(insert reason of the month)- comes first. And they never make the list.
But- they expect, and are hopelessly disappointed in themselves when it doesn’t happen- to be able to create from the center of their sorry, neglected beings, a fountain of wonderful water of life to give to their loved ones, their careers, and their creativity.
Here is the dried up, cracked, withered and ugly truth:
You can’t get a fountain out of a crater.
You know that. When you pair that vision in your mind of a dried up, cracked, withered and ugly crater in your mind, with the vision of a gorgeous fountain spouting out of the center of it, the idea is so absurd that it is hard to visualize. The two images don’t go together. They are like oil and water, they don’t mix. And yet, time and time again, we try to connect those same disjointed elements in our own lives.
We try to get abundance, love and the good life to spring forth out of the dried up, cracked, withered and ugly expressions of our neglected bodies, minds, spirit and soul.
How’s That Gonna Happen, Exactly?
We don’t get enough sleep, but somehow we expect to have energy, and complain when we experience fatigue.
We don’t eat healthy, exercise, fuel our bodies with nutrition or water, but complain that we are fat, out of shape and/or sick.
We overload on alcohol, sugar, negativity, unsolvable stress, worry, anxiety, hatred, violence and gossip and then complain that we have no serenity, peace or patience.
Really? No kidding.
Our world seems to have forgotten about cause and effect.
What you sow, you must also reap. What goes up, must come down. You are what you eat…
Those platitudes stick around for a reason. They are the truth.
This isn’t a pleasant post. It’s a plain old, ugly, grab you by the shoulders and shake you until you wake up post. And if you are already awake, maybe you could pass it along. We need more awake people. People with water in their lakes. People who are taking the time to take care of themselves, renewing themselves, restoring, rejuvenating, body, mind and spirit.
People are crying out for help. They want answers. They are spending millions of dollars looking for solutions to stop the hurting, stop the loneliness, stop the pain of separation, stop the hopelessness.
And they need to know the truth.
It starts with putting the water back in your own lake first.
P.S. – Lakes don’t fill themselves. Find a stream higher than yourself to fill your lake with. You will be glad you did.