My attitudes # 10 Humility. Water melting rock

“You must try, the voice said, to become colder.
I understood at once.
It’s like the bodies of gods: cast in bronze, braced in stone.
Only something heartless
could bear the full weight.”
― Jane Hirshfield
People have sometimes said to me ‘you are a rock’.
I have often pondered what that actually means and I believe it encompasses five things:
1). Being dependable to keep on with the small everyday and mundane tasks of life and not complaining about them but rather – just keep doing them – keep on, keeping on.
2) Always doing what you say you will, keeping to your word.
3) Being there in another persons’ troubles to help them out, or simply as moral support.
4) Being the ‘realm of safety’, the protector; and providing a place that is calm and secure for others – both emotionally and physically.
5) Being the one who remains level-headed in a crisis, putting one’s own fears and anxieties aside to step up and deal with the crisis; and even when you want to crawl into a hole and disappear, you cannot because others depend on you.
People urge me to remain ‘strong’.
I continually urge myself to remain strong and positive.
However, what I have learned about this personal crisis is that in times of emotional upheaval, to always remain ‘the rock’, that bastion of strength, would require an element of coldness and heartlessness.
And what I have learned about this personal crisis, is that sometimes I do not feel like that at all, I do not feel like that rock, I do not feel cold or heartless …… or strong.
Sometimes I feel:
‘I cannot do it’.
‘I need help’.
‘I am not as strong as I thought I was’.
‘I need to just breathe, I am not capable of anything more at this moment’.
And what I have learned is, that it is OK to feel like that.
What I have learned is that I too am vulnerable, just like everyone else.
What I have gained, is humility.
“Water is fluid, soft and yielding but water will wear away a rock, which is rigid and cannot yield……what is soft is strong.” Lao Tzu

16 thoughts on “My attitudes # 10 Humility. Water melting rock

  1. Being “anything” consistently and permanently is tantamount to not living fully and not experiencing all our emotions. I’m glad to hear that the rock has softened.

  2. “Only something heartless could bear the full weight.” What a freeing idea! There is no way to get totally OVER IT without becoming hard.

    Better we go on never to be fully over it, but to manage it. That way we keep the most important thing in the divorce settlement—ourselves.

    And as for the managing—I’m finding willow works better than oak. Even the words themselves tell us. “Oak” sounds abrupt and hard. Willow, willow, willow—it just joyfully flows into possibilities.

  3. This is an excellent post of what you have learned. I commend you, this.

    A rock, yes, is all those things. But even a rock can crumble. “Be strong” I’ve heard again and again, told myself again and again. Then, 2011, I finally broke (personal breakdown).

    I’ve learned humility, and highly recommend it.

    • Thanks for your kind words, and I am sorry to hear that you had a breakdown. however, I read in your posts of your personal strength and so you must have come a long way since your personal breakdown. Sometimes, it takes us to get to the bottom to find our true selves, and then when we come back, we realise that we can now fly.
      Have a great weekend.

  4. I love this whole concept and I love where you are taking it. One thing I might add to this is that perhaps “the rock” does not have to be cold or heartless. What “the rock” needs at that point in time is to focus on “the rock”. We all need time to make sure we are whole and healthy, and in fact we need to be that way in order to lend support and connection to others. So in fact “the rock” is not being either cold or heartless, just self aware and self healing first.

    • You are correct and this advice does not fall on deaf ears.
      It is sometimes difficult to focus on one’s self, because we are trained (by parents, teachers, society) to help others.
      But there comes a time ………

      Thanks for your continued support.

  5. Pingback: Coming Home to Calm | Almost Spring

  6. Pingback: Personality + Character + Circumstance + Attitude = ME | Almost Spring

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