Muddy wisdom

It snows in Vermont. A lot. This year, it was also very, very cold. That plays havoc on the roads. The paved roads get “frost heaves” (aka speed mountains and mini-ditches) and potholes (aka craters). The dirt roads, of which there are many, become muddy. Not only is the snow melting from above, the ground thaws, too, pushing moisture up.

The road I live on is dirt. While our town does a fantastic job of keeping it clear, there is only so much you can do while Mother Nature takes her time ushering in spring. While I have a Honda Civic, most of my neighbors have trucks, some of which are big and heavy. Ruts form in the mud. Driving becomes a navigational challenge- which ruts can I straddle, which do I just have to commit to and hope I don’t bottom out (which I always do) and how do I keep going when my car is being pulled feverishly in multiple directions as I hear my best friends voice in my head saying, “Don’t fight the ruts! That’s how you ruin your car.”

Our Town Manager said the frost is 7 feet deep this year! It will be May before it’s thawed completely. That got me thinking. Weeks and weeks of moisture bubbling to the surface after a long, cold winter sure sounds like what happens in us humans with emotions. We stuff them down as a way to cope. Eventually the sun shines, we resume some strength, and they start bubbling up because they were never meant to stay stuffed away; they are opportunities for growth.

While it would be nice when the muddy feelings appears in our lives, bringing awareness to what’s happening internally, we could see it, address it, fix it, and move on. However, sometimes what’s in there is so deep, that’s just not feasible.

George, the man who takes care of our roads, graded and put down new dirt last week. By nightfall, we had fresh mud and ruts as the sun warmed the ground throughout the day, allowing more thawing. It thaws until there’s no more to thaw. Just like our emotions will rise until there’s nothing left to address and love into our wholeness.

That is a messy and sometimes scary and frustrating process. We can fight the mud (both the metaphorical or literal) or we can just surrender to getting messy. The more we resist, the harder it is, the more energy it takes, and the more suffering is felt. Surrendering allows an opportunity to just experience it, learn from it, and perhaps even become a little fun.

When I stopped caring so much about how to navigate and just followed my best friends advice, I realized the slipping and sliding was kinda fun. Same holds true for all of the fear coming up in my life right now around showing up fully. As I stop resisting so much and just surrender into the muck of it, I realize it’s actually funny how I chose to play in the fear as a way to be “safe”. When I stopped resisting the messiness, I was able to see the fear isn’t all that scary. I get to playfully challenge it; “Oh, yeah? Why do I think that?” I discover the pieces of myself that need to be loved and I am willing to love them back into my being. The more I dive into it, the more it stops being a struggle. But I never would have known that if I had kept avoiding it.

I want to know what muddiness in your life you are resisting. Leave a comment below and let me know, even if it’s just for today, are you willing to surrender and playfully challenge it?