I was born when the warmth of the morning sun caressed the cold, dark recesses of the glacier. My birth was celebrated by nature’s song and dance. I rejoiced as I began my slow release from a frozen state that lasted millions of years. At last, I was free to pursue my dream and my destiny. I flowed freely, and the excitement of the journey brought a new dance and song to my life.
As I grew in size and depth, I had to traverse dark jungles and ravines in the stillness of the night when all I could hear was my own song. My two guardian banks were always by my side and gave me comfort when I passed through darkness. They prevented me from overflowing if I became too full of myself, while also giving me room to carve my own path.
Sometimes, my two guardian banks left my side when I fell hundreds of feet into a roaring, deep abyss and had to sacrifice myself over sharp rocks to continue my journey. As I looked back, I realized that my persistent force to find my way had softened even the hardest and sharpest edges of rocks. They looked at me smiling, and the music we created together became softer and soothing to the soul.
Sometimes, I felt abandoned by my two banks, but not for long. Soon, I would find them by my side as if caressing my wounds from the fall. But when they were absent, especially in my early life, I did not know what to do with myself, and I lost my sense of direction, control, and grace. I yearned for their love and their caress. I depended on them for the comfort I sought and the confidence I needed to continue on my journey.
I always knew that my true love was the ocean where I would lose myself to something larger and deeper than myself, where my song would become one with the dance of the waves, and where my dirt would settle in the ocean’s warm depths so my pure spirit could emerge. With this hope, I was happy to selflessly support all forms of plant and animal life with loving kindness all through my journey. I was ready to sacrifice myself over sharp rocks that softened with my resolve. I was prepared to travel, sometimes with intense fear, through the dark jungles, and I was delighted to be lifted by clouds to distant and unfamiliar lands. But I never lost my song — a divine resolve that would guide me to my destination where I would no longer be called a river, but I would still be water.
If only we could all live and love like the river! What’s needed is the light of self-awareness and self-compassion to remove the darkness of invalidation, which is the biggest obstacle to finding self-love. I also want to sing and dance with joyful ecstasy, just like the river as she enters the final journey to forever merge with her lover — the ocean. When I see others who seem to have what I am lacking, I become envious and even jealous. It takes some work to remind myself that I am human and that I am on a journey to heal, to integrate, and to unify my fractured soul. I know the infinite possibilities that await me along this journey. I embrace life with all my weaknesses, flaws, and strengths. Today, I accept myself completely because this is the only way I can become one with myself and with my true love – my Creator.
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