This article reminds us of the encouragement we can receive in times of struggle, simply by observing life as it unfolds about us.
Recently, while waiting for a client, I watched a flock of swallows as they energetically tended to the mud nests they had built under the eaves of my neighbor’s house.
It was a very windy day, and I was engrossed as I watched these birds, because although the force of the wind kept blowing them backwards, the swallows never gave up. Their struggle against the wind did not deter them from what they had to do, which was tend to their babies in the nests.
Their tiny little wings were flapping so fast I could hardly see them as the birds pitted themselves against the currents of the wind. Yet, not one of them appeared to think, “Oh, goodness, it’s getting too hard today. I think I’ll quit. I’m not going to bother going out any longer to look for food for my babies.”
I didn’t see any bird quit, despite battling against a wind which forced them back almost as far as they could go forward. Those birds just kept trying. It was in their nature to endure nature’s challenges.
At that moment I had the sense that it’s easy for us humans, with our rational, analytical brain, to decide something is good or bad, right or wrong. It can also be easy for us to decide that a challenge is wrong or bad. Sometimes, we might decide we should give up because a challenge is hard.
What occurred to me as I observed those birds, is that we are not on a planet that promises us a fun time or an easy time. My mind wandered to other examples where animals continue to endure through all sorts of adverse, testing and very daunting conditions. Because they don’t have a predisposition to judgment, these animals just carry on as if they are on automatic pilot and understand why they are here and what they need to do to survive.
I thought of animals who find themselves reliant on a waterhole that dries up several months of the year. Vegetation around the waterhole becomes scarce and finally there is nothing left to drink.
Those animals don’t just lie down by the waterhole and think, “This is a terrible situation and it’s wrong.”
Those animals begin to search for new environments where there is water and food. They are drawn by the very spirit within them to seek out a continuance of their life. They make long journeys over difficult terrains to find more water, more food. It is true that not all of them survive, because death is one of the conditions of living on Earth.
Similarly, not all of us make it to where we think we are going. Yet, the spirit in the core of our being calls us to keep trying, to keep enduring. I do not believe that Earth is provided for us to experience only easy times.
Earth offers us opportunities to put into practice what we think we have learned in the spirit world. We are presented with opportunities to show courage, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, love, and also indulge in the reverse aspects of these qualities. We have the freewill 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 inner guidance of our spirit and the wisdom we gain along the way.
Earth is a place of tests and learning. There’s going to be struggle. We know that emotionally, physically and mentally we will undergo experiences that feel very hard. We will face grief and the pain of loss. Yet our spirit chooses to incarnate so that in facing these challenges, it gets a chance to create a life that has purpose and meaning. Our spirit gets a chance to shine. It gets a chance to grow through difficult circumstances, and another ‘facet’ of our metaphorical diamond, is revealed.
For inspiration, we need only look to nature. Daily we see small plants breaking through the cracked dry earth or through concrete pavements. We see them throwing all their energy into their leaves and flowers, just to experience life above the ground. They do the best they can. Even if they bloom for just one day, these small plants bring forward their life-force, despite everything working against them. They make their contribution without complaint.
To find your spirit of endurance, call on the examples you can discover so easily in nature. If you still need reminding that endurance is part of your make-up, remember this. No toddler, when learning to walk, plops down on their bottom for the first time 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.”
Every child who is capable of learning to walk, gets up and stumbles on, time and time again. They fall flat on their face. They bruise, they bounce and they keep trying until they can walk, because that is the spirit within them. That also, is the spirit within you. Never give up on life. Endurance is part of your nature.
Blessings to all