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“Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go.” Blaise Pascal

 

Happiness is a frame of mind, and money can’t buy you happiness. “but it can buy you a boat, and a truck to pull it…” That’s lyrics to a song by Chris Janson. Just in case you want to catch it, here is a pretty cute video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQPjKSVe1tQ
I live a simple life.

I don’t have a lot of things.

I have less than a lot of people.

But I have more than a lot of people.

I don’t have a boat, just to clarify.

AND SPOILER ALERT.

My life is about to get more simple. If you have been reading my blogs, looking at the Youtube video you know that we are going to soon be living out of our Coach. We are leaving our house behind for a simpler life.

I will eventually explain how we got to that decision.

But I think I have a lot to explain until get there, this is my story…so I can do that!

ANYWAY, I used to have a really nice house in the Suburbs.

I was married to someone else then. So, when my life was drastically changing. I found myself a place to go. A place which helped me clear my mind. That place is the Des Moines River.

I imagined and pondered the path the rituals, the stories it had to get where it has been to be where it flows today. I imagine how many shores it molded and think relate it to my own life at the time.

I wondered how many people and lives we’ve actually molded or how many people lives I’ve actually mucked up by the decisions I’ve made. In doing so I would sit by the river and watch as it would pass me by. The current is typically pretty strong. Occasionally I could see random unknown objects floating on top, a duck, geese landing. For the most part the river was a place of peace and comfort and it brought answers when I needed it most.

The river takes rocks and sticks it tossed around with its rapid current, the waves, rapids and how it flows downhill to finally make it to its destination.

What is my destination?

“Life is a journey, not a destination” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

A river is about the journey in the end I guess.

The river itself is pretty murky, but the function and the different paths are pretty incredible. On a bright sunny day it looks as though a million diamonds are skimming the top of the surface.

Isn’t that a lot of us? At times we seem steady and calm on the surface.

“How are you”? people ask. We smile and hope no one sees through the facade we built so long to hide from others. We sparkle our diamond surface, but underneath no one can see that undercurrent that can whisk you away when you least expect it.

On the surface, we seem great, but underneath we don’t have it all together. We are even shiny with our sparkly faces with fake smiles but maybe we have ugly alternatives and motives underneath at times. Or we have sadness that we can’t share with others or secrets. You know it is. It’s life.

We are a lot like a river.

This river to me is a place of comfort. A place of miracles. A place of wonder. A place where significant events happened.

 

I was sitting by the river one day, just like any other day. I had my police radio on listening for dispatch to call out my call numbers to next crisis call like it was the next power ball numbers. Well, not really. You would understand the adrenaline if you worked in that field, I would assume it’s similar to the type of adrenaline you feel in your body. Minus millions of dollars, fame, fortune, yacht, getting out of debt, do donate money to a church, paying off student loans, getting the hubby bass boat and buying kids dream homes and that African safari…wait. Ok. not the same.

I digress.Where was I? River. Dispatch. Oh ya. Adrenaline.

You never know when your days are going to be life changers.

You wake up just like any other day, probably do same similar patterns of same ol habits, then BAM.

A game changer happens.

Life happens when you least expect it.

You probably have many days in your life like that.

Here’s the thing.

When you write down things in your life, you’ll start to uncover things that you’ve never known about yourself.  It’s really rather simple. Just don’t judge yourself and allow yourself to just be.

When I sat down by the river, I would have the river beside me a journal and my thoughts.

But here is why I write.

Back to the river…I was having a really hard day. I was at work and it was a slow day in the crisis field. I was working and by the dock.

I took out my yellow legal pad with red ink pen and was having a hard time with many changes in my life. My dad died a few months prior, I was losing my house to foreclosure, I was going through a divorce, I was preparing another move, transitions with my kids and being a single mom, working 2 jobs, my mom was in the hospital and her prognosis wasn’t good. I was pretty stressed.

I wrote a letter to God. I told God that I literally couldn’t take anymore. The reason I thought about writing to God was I needed to get rid of my worries. You know when we pray we are supposed to give it to God and not carry it with us any longer. So, much like a letter to a friend…you write a letter and tell that person what is going on. What do you do? You send it. So, I was at the river. I had the idea to send it. The coolest thing happened, though!

I put the letter in the river and while my hand was holding the letter under the water and waiting for the water to pull the letter away – the water pulled red ink to the top of the water!!! It was so amazing. So I could see the paper under the water, with my hand holding it under the water, then I could see the red ink…still seeing all the writing floating there on the surface.  “Dear God”….the red ink all there with the rest of the red ink floating on top of the water…without it resting on the paper. Then as I sat there in amazement the red ink eventually floated away.

So, this encouraged not only my habit of writing and prayers to God…but it encouraged writing in general. As a prayer journal it’s nice to have things written down in a letter form, then you can look back and see what you have been struggling with or what you have prayed for or who you have prayed for. It can be a laundry list of thing depending on the day or season in your life. I know I’ve had days like that. But at times, I just needed to be like “take this”, and write to him as a friend and believe that he is going to take care of it. Cause, you know, he is. He works like that.

As a therapist I encourage my patients to write, it is very therapeutic. It helps gain insight, gets your thoughts straight, allows you vent, lower depression and anxiety, boredom.m

Heck, if nothing else.. it might even help you have a conversation with the only sane person you know!

To clarify, I don’t go to the river and dump letters in it. That was a one time deal.

“Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go.”

My river has carried me, held me up and pointed me to several of my heart’s desire. All I’ve had to do was open myself up to see what was around me. By journaling, I’ve been able to have both at my side and it has allowed me to gain so much insight.

So, my nuggets of wisdom today. Journal and find your heart’s desire.

Author:

Photographer, mother of 6, therapist, traveler and blogger.

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