March 11, 2009

Broken Open

There's a large rock in the woods where I hike that is half buried in the middle of the trail and could easily be mistaken for a tree root. It caught my eye one day because the end that juts out of the ground has a circular/ring pattern on the tip. Nothing too impressive though. I often wondered if it might be some type of fossil, or just an unusually detailed edge. But it was too large and embedded to really look at. I'd notice it every now and again, but it was no show stopper. Just a little interesting, that's all.

And there's another rock I love on the same trail (see the picture at the top right corner of my blog page) with a cut-out heart shape in the rock. It's not too large, and it's easy to pick up. But that rock belongs in the woods. I would never take it. I love how the seasons frame it beautifully as it rests upon the ground, seemingly unchanging. It's a reminder of all the joys that can be found in nature.

But last weekend I passed the site of both of those rocks, and they were GONE! The cut-out heart rock had been lifted up from the ground and taken. Whereas the larger one had been hacked at and crudely dug up . . . evidence being that shards of the rock were sitting in the fresh hole. For some reason this really bothered me. I felt personally invaded. The things I had grown used to seeing and expected to be there were carted off in the blink of an eye.
On another day I decided to see if the rocks had been discarded off to the side, so I looked around in the woods near the area. While I never found the cut-out heart rock, I did discover something special about the larger one: First, I went to the large hole and rummaged through the fine shards. And to my surprise I found a heart rock with a crystal band running through it (see the picture above). While the person was hacking away at the rock, a quarter sized heart rock had formed (and been left behind unnoticed!). How cool! Then, a few feet away by the edge of the trail, I noticed two large remainder rocks, which were part of the large one, that had obviously been tossed aside. I looked at the rock chunks and immediately saw two hearts within them (see picture below). Suddenly I heard my message loud and clear . . .

Like a parallel in my life lately, the large rock literally had to be broken open and removed from a comfortable place of rest in order to experience the true beauty that lays just on the other side of complacency, apathy, and "good enough". There are some things I've held on to for too long, afraid that by facing the pain of releasing all that junk, it might be worse than simply holding tight to it. But over the past few years, I've slowly allowed myself to be broken open--actually it's more like I started with a crack here and there before I surrendered to the renewing and cleansing act of being truly broken open. I still surrender daily to God what doesn't work for me with the belief that God's plans are so much better for me than the plans I had fabricated. My plans included the beliefs that a certain person or thing would satisfy me, not to mention all the "stuff" I thought I needed to be fulfilled. Also, being broken open releases me from my old patterns of behavior and patterns of interacting with people that were not helping me to fulfill my purpose. It's scary to offer up ourselves to metaphorically be hammered at, or pick-axed at, or dug up from the comfy, soft earth we have positioned ourselves in. But then when would true beauty be discovered? Beauty will always be found through the humble act of being broken, experiencing the dark night of the soul, and having the courage to come through it, knowing you are not alone. God is the Creator, Breaker, and Restorer.
It is so!

"Even a STONE . . . could show you the way back to GOD, to the SOURCE, to YOURSELF."
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now