I was talking to my coach one day about what was going on that week and she said something to the effect of, “It seems like in life you’ll be happily skipping down this path, and then all of a sudden you’ll see a pebble, and you’ll say, “What’s that doing here? That’s not supposed to be here,” and you’ll focus on that pebble, wanting it to go away. You’ll allow this tiny pebble to stop you in your tracks.”
In life, the path is strewn with pebbles- anxiety, worry, sadness, pain, challenges… They’re different sizes and sometimes there are more than others. But when we stop to focus on them, we stop living. If we look at the pebbles as “bad” and see them as something that’s not supposed to be there, how are we going to get to where we’re going? We’re going to be constantly stopping and feeling awful that they’re there, spending our energy trying to figure out how to remove the pebbles from the path for good.
But what if they’re not bad? What if they’re just an inevitable part of the journey? Anxiety, sadness, worry and any other emotion that we might have difficulty feeling, and spend energy trying to not feel, are an inevitable part of the journey, but they are not you. They are just one part of the path. The same thing goes with thoughts. Thoughts will happen, and some of them you won’t like. But when we stop to examine them, decide that they should look different than they do, try to make them go away, and make them anything more than just a pebble being a pebble, we spend our time and energy staring at a pebble rather than moving along to where we’re going.
What if we can allow the pebbles to be there and just keep going?
We’re going to think things and we’re going to feel things. That is inevitable. That’s always going to happen because we’re human. Thank goodness because that means we’re alive! But we don’t have to attend to each and every pebble along the path, and we certainly don’t need to spend our energy judging them, figuring out which are good and bad, and which are supposed to be there.
By resisting and judging and attending to thoughts, emotions, or challenges that we don’t like, we stop in our tracks, and make something so small mean so much. It’s almost like the tiny pebble that’s just a part of the path starts to appear to be a giant boulder, the only thing we can see, and something that we can’t go around! We turn it into an obstacle that’s not really there.
So what if it’s all ok? What if each pebble is meant to be exactly where it is, and we can keep going along our path just the same? What if, just maybe, a pebble is just a pebble?