Your Life as a River

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a very firm believer in the power of positive thinking and will-power. I believe that energies and auras are real, and karma really can be a you-know-what. My glass is usually half-full, and my grass is just as green as my neighbors’, thank you very much. That being said, everyone has off days, ruts, funks, or whatever else you want to call them, and I am no exception. September will make it a full year since I’ve graduated from college, and lately I can’t help but to reflect on all I’ve accomplished since then and all that I still have to do. It was during a long walk home one night, when my thoughts started turning negative and defeatist, that a thought occurred to me: when engaging in the processes of self-reflection and self-evaluation, your attitude and approach plays a major role on your outlook.

I like to think of life as a river – one that can be very dangerous if not navigated properly. On the one bank lies all of the reassuring elements in one’s life thus far: thriving relationships with friends and family, physical and mental health, past achievements (however grand or small in scale), and all of life’s little joys. Indeed, on this side of the river the sun is always shining, the birds are always chirping, and Disney princesses are practically falling from the trees (although considering it’s Disney, they’d probably descend gracefully with the help of butterflies and fairy dust). On the opposite bank though, things are not always so chipper.

On this bank lies elements of one’s life that seek to hinder one’s progress; things like doubt, past mistakes, lethargy, excuses, bad habits, and hesitation linger here like a thick fog. Speaking from experience, this fog of negativity can diminish your vision of the path ahead and discourage you from moving forward, making it easy to drift over to this side of the river and not even notice it.

The waters of the river that stretch ahead are full of possibilities and opportunities. It is important to remember that though they may be rough at times, these waters are not impossible to navigate with a bit of hard-work, a lot of determination, patience, and some positive thinking. And who knows – every now and then you may get a favorable current from the waters you’ve already traveled!

It can be very tempting to just rest on the bank of reassurance, and dangerously easy to crash onto the bank of hindrance – no one can blame you for doing either from time to time – but it is absolutely crucial to understand that in order to move forward, you can’t spend too much time on either side. You have to keep moving, to keep focus, and to keep hope in your heart that when you finally do reach the end of the river, the journey you took to get there will have been well worth it.

I hope you’ll keep these thoughts with you when you feel an episode of self-reflection coming on. Just remember that you have some place to go, and you won’t get there by standing still. 🙂


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