Muddle Through It
June 8, 2014
Sometimes it’s too big of a puddle to go around. You have to walk in it and through it. Even if you’re wearing your favorite shoes and prepared instead for rain with your umbrella.
It’s a messy-life-puddle. There’s good news, though. Once you’re in it, once the shoes have already been dirtied, you have no reason to rush through it. Sometimes if you try to rush through it, you just make it messier. It then splatters on your favorite pair of jeans or your new white shorts. And I’ll be the first to admit that you can get stuck in it. I've come out of it fully covered, unrecognizable, because I didn't know how to rinse it off. It can hold us back and distract us from our journey.
When we are kids, we want to play in the mud. But mom usually says, “No! You’ll get dirty!”
If you have lived even one day on this earth, one of the God given gifts for you is that you will get dirty. Life isn’t one big “let’s stay clean!” challenge.
When we are born, there are already a few gazillion potholes laid out neatly waiting for us. Even as we sit here reading, the universe is cultivating our next big challenge. So put on your big girl panties and your “okay, here we go,” attitude and don’t worry. Just like breakfast and laundry are a part of our lives, so is mud.
The challenge isn't to get to the other side (where ever that might be for each of us) unmarred, clean and utterly happy the whole way through. The challenge is what we will do when we get dirty while we have to hurdle and trek through it. Will we squish it through our fingers and hold it up to the light to see what it’s made of? Will we just keep rinsing it away, as if that will be the end of it? Will we splash it off onto others around us making it an even bigger puddle?
It’s not a place to stay long. We only have to travel through it.
But if we don’t take the lesson from it, we will come across that same mud puddle again and again until we've been able to navigate its murky depths thoroughly.
There’s a reason for it, and even if we don’t figure out its reason, it really is about how we handle ourselves through it. It’s easy to be happy and pleasant when life is leading us through the paved route, but harder to keep a positive mind frame when traversing through the mud.
So imagine yourself sitting in the muck, dirty and upset and with no one close enough to pull you out. What do you do?
It starts with a smile. The first image you may have conjured up was of you sitting in the mud with a furrowed brow and muddy clothes. Now try looking at yourself sitting there in the same clothes, in the same spot, but this time smiling. Could it actually be turned into fun?
We first have to let go of how it has just interrupted our day (and our life). We have to change our plan right there and then while sitting in it. We can’t waste time and worry mourning about what we were supposed to be doing. That plan no longer exists. It went POOF went we went kerPLUNK! Make a new one. Take extra time if you need it. Laugh through it somehow. Take photos!
“Remember that deep, dark mud puddle I fell into? I never experienced a mud puddle so deep and wide, but here I am, weathered but clean and refreshed, and smiling.”
There are mud puddles that I've been through and looking back on them now, their memories still don’t bring any traces of a smile to my face when thinking about them. Yesterday's date marked the 17th anniversary of my miscarriage. I keep the date because I always want to remember there was a baby. It doesn't make me smile but it doesn't make me sad, either. It makes me wonder about the possibility of having a sixteen year old in my life right now and how different life would be. It's not something to forget. But while I traveled that muddy road 17 years ago, I know that I smiled often.
We’ll get through our mud puddles but it’s up to us how we do it. There WILL be an end to it. Find the faith that it’s there for a reason and that there is a silver lining to it. Label your mud and yourself while there. Become a pro-mud wrestler in your Life Swamp, or a silver lining detective in your Murky Mystery. And guess what? You get to stomp through it sometimes, too. (Be a soldier on the Aha-Team.)
So the next time your little one wants to stomp through a rain or mud puddle, don't tell him no. Tell him to be careful of the snakes in his river!
~Katherine A. Rayne~ (not quite Master of Mud)
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