Monday, November 23, 2015

Footprints in the soil

I was first given the gift of the poem "Footprints in the sand" when I left a company with many friends, advocates and supporters about 15 years ago.  It was the image from the same poem.  Not long after, this poem was chosen by my mother-in-law for the keepsake for a man whom she had been married to for 40 plus years as her farewell gift of love:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with the Lord
Many scenes from my life flashed 
across the sky.  In each scene I
noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of
footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed in low
periods of my life, when I was suffering
from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could
only see one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord: "You promised me
Lord that if I followed you, you would
walk with me always.  But I noticed that
in my most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints
in the sand.  Why, when I needed you most
have you not been there for me? 
The Lord replied: The years you have only
seen one set of footprints, my child,
is when I have carried you."





How lucky and amazing it is that one's farewell in unique circumstances and miles apart were given as a gift, as a send off to someone beloved or held dear.

I was thinking,  how lucky one is when there is someone who wants to follow in their own unique path, with the imprint of your wisdom imparted to them.  Really, footprints in the soil.

The soil, because of the wisdom can become deeply rooted in the receiver's philosophy to bloom at times of despair, discouragement and perhaps depression.  We dig deep to find the wisdom of those before us to provide inspiration when we are grasping at something that we are unaware, yet desperately seeking. 

How lucky one is to have someone who seeks your advice and an ear to listen as they sort out their feelings, their goals and struggling for a path or confirmation we are on the right one.  We all wonder.  We all seek guidance.

As we grasp for understanding for what unsettles us, we are seeking that one person who can understand our restlessness.  Fortunate are those who find that person, whether it is a parent, a friend, a sibling, a mentor, spiritual guider or willing advisor.



When we realize that there is someone reaching out to grasp your hand to guide you upon  self reflection and seeking understanding.  Some people don't have that gift to receive.  Others, don't appreciate that they have that gift to give.

Recognize that you have had agony, frustration and strongly desire to extend that guidance.  When it is before you, take it.  Similarly, don't disregard the kind words of encouragement or discredit the accolades that person extends to you.  Remember you are not in the best frame of mind or self-belief.  They may not be bias by love, but objective in understanding.  You just may need those words of encouragement when you find yourself at the bottom of the valley with a mountain of optimism before you that you cannot climb on your own.

Help others plant themselves in the soil of your wisdom.  Don't force upon them your passion for wanting them to avoid the same pitfalls you have found yourself in.  That exuberance may alienate the opportunity for them to absorb your wish for them to avoid the same pain you have experienced.  They have to be willing and accepting of your inspiration.  They will not accept any words of encouragement until they are willing to embrace them.  You may need to repeat those words more than once until they can see it for themselves.

Frustrating as that may seem, the want to clear the soil so that optimism may bloom, patience may be needed.  Hold on dearly to their need to reach out as a small bud would in soil.  You can nurture that need and wet their appetite to your desire to help them bloom.  Reach their fullest potential.  

You cannot force them to see.  No matter how hard you try.  No matter how much you want to help them avoid the pain that you have had.  They will only accept the advice when they are open to it.

Don't take it as disappointment or a sign that your experience isn't worth listening to.  Understand that it will sprout and bloom on its own accord and in its own time.   Sometimes it is delayed, sometimes immediate.  You nor them can bend it to your will.  It happens at the right time.



Yes, you see the flower that is before your eyes. It may be that the flower does not see itself as such because it is merely a sprout and cannot see the beauty that is unfolding.

Patience is wisdom.  Understanding is enlightenment.  When they both meet, wonders can happen.

Neither can embrace it or help it to be without understanding the other's role in footprints in the soil.




Be thankful that you have someone seeking your guidance.  Appreciate that you have someone whom you can reveal your deepest desire for them to reach their maximum potential.  Together, you can uncover what may be hidden in a seed.  Ready to bloom.  Likely to flourish.

"Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.  To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue."
                                                                                        ~Buddha