Once upon a time, there lived two friends who really loved to play together in a river. They were both deeply spiritual, inquisitive souls who loved to ask questions, reveled in exploration, and who could talk for hours and hours about every subject under the sun. While they each had their own unique paths that called them in different directions at times and were both fiercely independent, they always found a way to connect and have a ball splashing around in the water together.
As time went on, the two friends continued to navigate the waters of life, each one choosing her path of least resistance at any given moment. While they may not have always understood each other’s choices and often tried to intervene when it looked like the other was stepping into particularly rough waters, they only discovered that with each attempt to impose their ideas of what the other should do or to “rescue” the other, they unknowingly added sharp rocks and rapids to their once peaceful river.
More time passed, and as the friends did their best to swim upstream through this now raging river to meet each other, the ride got rougher and rougher. Though they both knew that this was not healthy for either one of them, their desire to keep the relationship alive and habit of fighting the river caused the two of them to keep jumping in time and time again, even though they would emerge even more battered and bruised than the time before. In their limited thinking (and now many-year habit), these friends thought that this was the only way they could get to be together, yet because they were so exhausted from just trying to keep their heads above water, all the fun, inspiration and joy that they once experienced– THE very things that made their relationship so rewarding – were nothing more than a blur as they bounced down the river, hanging on for dear life.
One day, as they each started to enter the water, every cell in their bodies called out in every way they could to let the friends know that the current was especially rough on this day, and that this was absolutely NOT the time to attempt to swim. Both of the friends got the message, but deliberately ignored the signs and, sure enough, experienced a ride so rough that they barely survived the trip. They each crawled to the closest shoreline they could find, and knew that until the waters calmed down or some other way presented itself, meeting each other in the raging river was no longer an option. And so, each stepped away from the river - and each other - for a time.
During this time apart, the friends’ desire to get to see each other and play together only continued to increase, but, at the same time, they knew that if they attempted to swim or ask the other to get in the water while still in a weakened state, nothing good would come of it. Friend#1 even started to wonder if perhaps their paths had been severed forever, but because her desire to get to see her friend was so strong, she decided to put a prayer out into the Universe that somehow, some way, they would meet again. While friend #1 knew she could not control the current of the river or what her friend may be thinking or doing, she decided to focus on what she COULD control: She would nurture her body, mind, and spirit to allow herself to heal and find her alignment so that when the time WAS right, she would be ready.
One day, friend#1 woke up feeling particularly light and happy. As she went through the rest of her day, her energy only increased, and she was compelled to head over to the river to see her friend. She didn’t know how far along her friend was in her healing process, or if her friend would even be there, but on this day, the pull to go over to see her friend was too strong to be ignored. Not knowing what she may encounter with her friend or if they would be able to meet, she decided that even if she did nothing more but say, “I love you!” to her friend in a voice that was loud and clear enough for her friend to hear her, that was still reason enough to make the trip. Just the thought of this made friend #1 felt elated!
By the time friend#1 arrived at the river, what she saw stopped her in her tracks: Not only had her friend decided to come to the river on the same day at the same time, but there, in the spot where she and her friend had each crossed the river many times, was now a beautiful new bridge.
Like friend#1, friend#2 also never stopped loving her friend and wanting to be with her, and so as she allowed time to heal her body and mind, and got stronger and stronger, she discovered that there could be another way for them to connect. With each passing day, friend #2 starting building a bridge so that no matter what the river may be doing at any given time, they would always have a way to be together.
And so it was on this glorious day that the two friends, aka my mom and I, were reunited; and it was as if all the heavens celebrated with us. We embraced, cried, laughed, and - for the first time in a very long time, because we no longer were devoting all our energy to staying afloat and swimming upstream in a raging river - we were able to return to the joy, inspiration, and core of love that had brought us together in the first place. Though each of us would continue to navigate the waters of our individual life experiences, any time we would show up at the river’s edge with love in our hearts, there would always be a bridge that could help us rise above and meet in a place where we each could fully appreciate each other – for we both discovered that love can and will always find a way.
The Bottom Line: The Tale of Two Friends and a River If you have ever had someone you love standing on the other side of a raging river, you too may have found that climbing back into tumultuous waters (aka interacting from a place of disconnection) can take its toll on BOTH of your bodies, minds, and souls. So…
…Isn’t it nice to know that when you give yourself permission to listen to your inner compass (inner guidance & “gut feelings”), find your own consistent alignment, and then act from a place of true clarity & inspiration with love in your heart, you may just find, time after time, love can and will build a bridge?
Thank you, river, for all you would come to show us.
Thank you, mom, for keeping the faith.
Thank you, love, for showing us how to build a bridge.
“I will lay me down, like a bridge over troubled waters…” --Paul Simon