By Jacqueline M. Shuler
The current flows rapidly in swirls and eddies down the river. At the bottom are stones, which become more and more rounded and polished by the water flow as the years go by. In contrast, the stones at the bottom of a stagnant pool remain craggy and soon become covered with moss.
We choose, before we take on a human body in this life, the lessons we would like to learn. No matter how difficult and painful, they create opportunities for true spiritual growth. We can choose a life in a “river”, where our rough edges will be worn off by the daily passage of events. We can also choose a life in a “pond”, where there are few, if any, difficult circumstances that impact our spirits.
Keep a small, smooth pebble in your pocket to remind you of your choice to become an evolved soul. When the day brings pain, run your fingers over your stone; affirm the importance of these experiences for your spirit’s growth. Focus on your response to these experiences; be grateful for the lessons learned. You have chosen to become “polished”, so accept the process.
No frustrating or difficult experience is designed as punishment for any past behavior. “What can I learn?” is an excellent way to cope. Note what character traits you need to manage the situation and focus on responding positively in the moment. It is not the event, but your response to the event that makes all the difference.
Ways to make your polishing process real to you:
Have a special spot on your desk or table to start a collection of polished stones. You could use a large plate or tray to hold them. Buy a fine-point Sharpie marker and write down the date or happening on the bottom of the stone. On top, write, “Thank you!” With every major event requiring your focused reflection on your response, add a stone. You can pick up various stones and recall the event, repeating “Thank you” in your heart
When you experience the loss of a loved one, find a special stone that reminds you of the person and write their name on the top with a little heart. When you touch their stone, send the person your love. They are truly alive now, enjoying their existence in an expanded dimension. We grieve for their lost presence in our lives, but we can connect with them when we pick up their stone and hold it close to our heart.
You could get creative and use colored markers to decorate your stones. That would be especially fun if you have a puzzling dream or experience which you cannot understand. Make a note on the bottom of the stone of the event. During meditation, pick up the stone and be open to the message it brings.
After a while, you will enjoy looking upon your stone collection in all its subtle colors and smoothness. You can touch each reminder of your response to life, your gratitude for lessons learned, and of the love that lives beyond death.