Posted by: drjamm | May 25, 2009

On the way

A friend of God went forth on a pilgrimage, and on the road in the middle of the desert came across a little black ant struggling along. “Ant where are you going?” he asked, in the way some people have of speaking with creatures. “Why, I’m going on a pilgrimage to Mecca, the same as you.” The saint objected, “Why, you’ll never make it. It’s hundreds of miles, and besides you have a broken leg!” “What does it matter” the ant asked him, “as long as I’m on the way?”

— folk story as told by Rabia Terri Harris


Why does the ant in the above story believe that it is enough in life to be on the way even though the chance of her making it to Mecca is very remote? Is this ant a champion of the”glass-is-half-full” type of positive thinking? Or is there something more fundamental than optimism that is at work here?

For me, being on the way means I am focused on what is in my Heart and tending to what is my Life’s-calling-as-I-understand-it-today. Now that I look back, it seems to me it has been a very long time since I have known — even with some small certainty — how my Life will enfold on any given day. Yes, there are possibilities, both good and bad, in each day but the only thing I ever seem to know for sure is that I just don’t know how things will work out.

EXCEPT I have noticed that if I intentionally navigate far away from the “fear traps” (not the legitimate and difficult issues in my life that require my full intelligence and compassion but rather my own and other people’s fear-based messages and paradigms), I have a profound feeling of knowing that I am on the way to my own “Mecca.” Being on the way is not merely an optimistic frame of mind for me, although often Optimism comes along for the ride. Being on the way is a physical and intentional way I dedicate the use of my Heart each morning; that is, the moment I awake, I make an agreement with my Self that I will use my heart to love others and myself and I will not injure my heart by settling for fear-based living.

I remember reading this quote by Einstein which motivated me to make a paradigm shift:

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

What I heard Einstein saying to me was “if I have a problem with my “thinking head,” then, my solution will not be found in my head. I, therefore, have been experimenting with finding the solution in my “loving heart.” 100_9971Being on my way, means that rather than try to solve my life’s stresses by cognitively rethinking my thoughts, I choose to physically re-posture my Self: I “launch” myself into a different world or paradigm or dimension where Love — and not Fear — is the matrix that contains and sustains all things. I have noticed that making this “world shift” gets easier with constant practice; and I have also noticed how very, very difficult it is for me to make this shift if I am burdened with endless “woulda-coulda-shoulda” worries or “oh no, what if…” scenarios.

Slowly but surely, I think I am learning what the ant means when she says, “what does it matter so long as I am on the way?” Everyday I practice — with mixed successes and failures. Everyday my Heart learns and grows. Everyday I am on my way.

Today, may the Goddess of Ants and All Life help you along your way. Blessed Be.

*******       bright heart singing                              credits and links             *******

Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure

Ant story credit: The ant folk tale was told by Rabia Terri Harris and reprinted in Women of Sufism: A hidden treasure, by Camille Adams Heliminski, p. 161

Quote credit: I found the above Einstein quote on the following web site:

Photo credit – photos by jamm @ bright heart singing

bright heart singing, copyright 2009 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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