- in honor of all the time we spend around water, especially in summertime
What do you think is the strongest “substance” on earth? Diamonds? Steel? C’mon your first thought was…what?
Well, let me throw another one at you… WATER.
“What?” You say, “You’re joking right? Water is... floppy, soft, colorless, plain, common… nothing special… it’s just… water.”
If that’s what you’re thinking, I challenge you to ponder this:
From Wikipedia: Water is by far the most studied chemical compound and is described as the "universal solvent” and the "solvent of life". It is the most abundant substance on Earth and the only common substance to exist as a solid, liquid, and gas on Earth's surface. It is also the third most abundant molecule in the universe. *
This description is fascinating, no? What do you think about water now?
So here’s my idea: What if… I choose to “live like water.” I have found that when I elect to do so, yes, I still work hard but I also live well (Is there a pun in there?)
I can work toward becoming a “life-giving” element; perhaps live out greater generosity, compassion, and harmony. I can be flexible; existing in, transferring between, and accepting different states of mind or being. Perhaps I may live more freely disregarding unnecessary worldly pressure. I can be more embracing (absorbent), joining together with others around me for good. I can be determined and after a lifetime, leave a lasting mark of beauty in some way. I could hold more positive thoughts and views, perhaps allowing me to naturally radiate my own “exquisite crystals.” I can be more gentle yet powerful, using what I’m made of to manufacture valuable, hopeful energy.
Furthermore, by living like water, I can be a source of collaborative, serene strength. Instead of resisting or clashing with obstacles (be it persons, circumstances, or events), I might opt to maneuver around them - considering both the other, as well as my own, path but with an openness to amend, modify, and improve... What happens in a stream when a large tree falls into it? The water changes direction, goes over, under, and around, continuing along its merry way. If instead, water tried to push or conquer the tree (as would, say, a large rock), what happens? Two stubborn elements bump, hit, clash, clang, and force. It’s often noisy and painful. I can learn a lot by choosing to adjust in a difficult circumstance. Perhaps there is another - a better - way to negotiate or continue than one of brawn.
Water maintains a sense of lowliness, yet it is still majestic! How or why do I stand in awe of the ocean, a waterfall, flowing fountain, or quiet lake? What is it that captures my attention, offering a positivity that causes me to pause? The water is happily running its course, humbly performing its role, contently living as it was meant. Think about how humans strive to achieve, win, or rise up. What in our ambition motivates us? Are we hard and aggressive seeking height, or are we malleable and adaptable, remaining naturally on our course (purpose)? I find through practicing a sense of humility and gentleness, I can be wise, compassionate, insightful, successful, and helpful. On the other hand, when I try to force my way, I often lose control or at least some respect in the process. When I relate to others justly and fairly, I gain not only vision and camaraderie, but respect and desire from those I lead to perform and thrive with enthusiasm.
I’ve come to understand that when I merge my ideas, dreams, and goals with the concept of living like these qualities of water, my own life flows better and more good emerges!
I am convinced. If there is a substance on earth I wish to imitate in order to live well in all aspects: life and health, goals and dreams, relationships and connections… I chose to aspire to live like water.
How about you?
On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water* will flow from within him.’” He said this in reference to the Spirit that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
- John 7:37-39
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
- John 4:13-14
Lillian Corrigan uses writing to learn, inspire and encourage both others and herself. No stranger to devastating, life-altering hardship and loss, she's begun working as a motivational author.