Mind Over Water - A Post About My Word


I was listening to an audio book on my way home from my parents yesterday. In the book, the author used an analogy about throwing a rock into the water. He said, "Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is: Totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input. Then it returns to calm. It doesn't over-react or under-react."

I had to turn the book off right there--don't worry, I'll go back to it--but, I had to think about that in relation to my word of the year. UNDRAMATIC.

A big thing--a death, a divorce, a major illness, among others--would be like a big, BIG rock thrown into the water. It makes a big splash, the ripples are significant and far-reaching and it takes a while for the disturbance to settle back to calm. But eventually, it does. As we learn to live with the big thing, we adapt, we learn, we (hopefully) make peace with it.

Small things like running late, a sink full of dirty dishes, a presidential news conference interrupting your favorite show, are like a small pebble being thrown into the water. It barely registers. It's just a little plop and then it's gone, the water back to normal in no time.

The problem with drama, as I see it, is this. The overly dramatic person thinks that little plop wasn't enough, so they head out into the water and stir it up, splashing and swishing and making waves for the rock, because the rock wasn't dramatic enough. Or if the rock was big, the dramatic person doesn't want the calm that eventually comes and so they trudge out there and pick up that rock and drop it again and again, looking for the big reactions from the water, never letting it become calm again.

The disruption of the water, or the drama queen (or king), might be the person most impacted by the rock (poor me, look at what's happened to me, my life is so hard, I'm so busy, and on and on and on) or it might be someone around them (you poor thing, I can't believe you have to go through this, I hope you didn't put up with that, you should sue them).

Please don't look at these examples and think that I think there isn't a place for grieving or sympathy. I absolutely do. The big rock caused a huge splash and lots of ripples, after all. I'm just saying that at some point, the water calms and we need to let it.

We need to be happy with the water so calm we can see our own reflection instead of so choppy that we can't see ourselves. Hmm. Maybe there's something to that thought. Maybe the more comfortable we are with ourselves and our circumstances, the more willing we are to actually see ourselves for what we are.

Anyway, I really liked the analogy, especially how I see it relating to my word for 2014.

May our waters be as smooth as possible! Have a great week.

1 comment:

Mindy said...

Beautiful thoughts! I decided to focus on last year's phrase again, because (to be honest) I forgot about it. Lighten up. :) (It has lots of different meanings for me, but your thoughts tie nicely into it!)