Hands On The Wheel

Written by Michelle Robinson

Have you ever felt discouraged because a series of misfortunes followed one after the other? Sometimes, when our efforts feel pointless, it can be tempting to give up on our dreams. We lose the will to stay in the driver’s seat of our life. Can you relate to this? At times, in the past, I have felt this way.

Reflecting on my own challenges, I noticed that nature teaches us a different lesson.

One very windy day, I watched a flock of swallows as they energetically tended to their babies in the mud-nests they had built under the eaves of my neighbour’s house.

I was engrossed in watching these birds, because although the force of the wind kept blowing them backwards, the swallows never quit. Their tiny little wings were flapping so fast I could barely see them, yet, no bird appeared to think, “It’s too hard today. I’m not going to bother bringing food for my babies.” Those birds just kept trying. It was in their nature to endure nature’s challenges.

I realized how tempting it was for me, with a human brain, to decide that some experiences are good or bad. It was also tempting to decide that challenges are wrong because they can be painful and hard.

The conclusion I reached was that life on Earth is not set up for everyone and everything to have an easy time. The most important thing is that we strive to create the best possible version of ourselves through our choices.

Deeper inspiration came from more examples of nature around me. I saw small plants breaking through concrete pavements. They were throwing all their energy into their leaves and flowers, just to experience life above the ground. Even if they bloomed for one day, these small plants invested everything in their life-force, despite the harsh conditions working against them. They made their contribution to life on our planet without complaint.

I believe that the spirit in each of us inspires us to keep trying, to keep enduring. We are presented with opportunities to show courage, compassion, forgiveness, kindness and love. We have the free will to choose how we respond to life’s conditions. There’s no rule book we can refer to and no certainty that we will make the best choices from the available options. What we do have is the opportunity to keep our hands on the steering wheel of our life – to stay forward focused and keep going. As we grow through difficult circumstances, another facet of our metaphorical diamond is revealed.

Remember that no toddler, when learning to walk, plops down on their bottom and decides, “Well, that’s it. I’m done with walking. I gave it a go. I’m over it now. I’m never going to try that again.”
Never give up on life. Endurance is part of your nature.

See you next month.

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