Blog Your Blessings: Muskrat and Teacher
Yesterday evening I took a long walk along the edge of the swamp near home and shared part of the way with a muskrat. I watched him swim until he came to a tuft of grass. Then he would walk over the grass and slip back into the water. On and on he went until he went deep and hooked a left into the still waters under the shadows of the hills. I didn't expect him to come up where he did, which I think may have been his point.
That's the way to do it, I thought. You do what you do, and when there's an obstacle, it's up and over. When it's time to change direction, then it's time to change direction. You do it. You get yourself to a safe and peaceful place, and you rest.
The little furry dude was my teacher last night.
Lately, I've had a tough time with some difficult, obstructive people who delight in hurting others. I've toughed out sleepless nights trying to figure out why this is and, more important, why they had me so upset. Though these women are pretty rotten, they don't actually occupy a lot of space in my life. But they had me, and they were pulling my strings.
Last night, with the help of a friend, I got to thinking about an earlier time in life when I was in love with someone whose family didn't love me and who worked tirelessly to convince me that I was not worthy of love. They were spectacularly successful; for years I was convinced I was worthless and therefore deserving of their horrible treatment. Climbing out of the hole they dug for me took a long time. This latest bunch of not-very-nice people brought my heart back to the scene of an earlier crime. I got that last night, with the help of the muskrat and a friend.
I didn't want to look. Didn't want to deal with it. At all.
My friend asked, "Why do you think you are not worthy of love?" The candor of this simple, direct question broke the dam that had held me back for so long. I cried like a very hungry baby.
"You are worthy."
And I cried.
"It's not a perfect world. Some people are mean. Some people will try to break down everything you build up. It's that way. But the world is beautiful. And you are beautiful. And you soar. But you are not alone."
Soaring is good. So is swimming like a muskrat--deep into the dusk. Not alone.