By Angel Simmons ©
The last thing I did before I left town was check the fish tank. Recently the heater has been acting up. And with this Chicago weather changing so drastically, one day the windows are open and the next day we’re wearing gloves. So I made sure to leave detailed instructions on what to watch for.
Lesson One: Be prepared for changes and have a plan of action.
It was 4am when I got back in town, and I went straight to bed. I woke up groggy today and shuffled around for about two hours before I felt like eating. When I stopped to check the tank, I discovered the water was freezing cold.
Lesson Two: If you are proactive, always taking an assessment of your situation, making adjustments will be more manageable and less toil.
I removed about a fifth of the water and added hot water. My fish, usually agitated by the disturbance and frantically splashing about, sat quietly in the corner waiting for me to finish my work in the tank. I was both relieved and amused at what seemed to be an extension of grace towards me.
Lesson Three: We can only make room for effective changes by either altering conditions, extracting toxins or the removal of barriers.
Humans are flawed. We hurt, neglect, judge, and offend one another- oftentimes unintentionally and without even realizing it. But in relationship, we have a responsibility to give the very best of ourselves. That is why it’s critical for us to constantly regulate our temperature. When we are prepared, we’re less likely to react negatively to changes and add insult to injury with responses that are not born out of love. When we are proactive, we make our hearts pliable to love and unavailable to selfishness. When we embrace the work of love, we make room for each other to grow and truly become the caretakers we are created to be, operating in oneness and making sacrifices that benefit the other person.
Like that water in the tank, we can nver allow our hearts to grow cold, unwilling and inflexible to do what love begs of us to do: MOVE! If your relationships are dead, dying or distracted, it’s because you aren’t moving. Relationship always requires you (notice I didn’t say both of you) to regulate the temperature. Someone has to be in position, discerning the next step, and doing the work to improve the relational environment. So, if you cannot wholeheartedly commit to and carry out that assignment, then it’s best that you just stay out of the water…
May 4, 2014