Two Monks Walking

There goes a story abouttwo monks who are walking in the woods when they happen upon a river. In the river, they discover a naked woman who appears to be drowning. As the monks cross the river, one of them approaches the woman, lifts her out of the water, carries her to shore, and sets her down on dry land.

The monks continue on their journey and after quite some time, one monk says to the other, “We take a vow of celibacy, Brother. I can’t believe you touched that naked woman.” To which, the other monk replied, “Brother, I set that woman down an hour ago. You’re still carrying her.”

Such a story begs the obvious question: what is it that you’re (still) carrying? What is it that would set you free if you put it down and continued on your journey? 

Is it your current relationship or a marriage that didn't last? Maybe it’s your job or a career move that didn’t quite go as planned. How about the promotion you were hoping for that was awarded to your colleague instead?

Perhaps it’s a conversation that resulted in feelings of hurt or anger. It might even be a childhood that you continue to look upon unfavorably. How about a “bad” attitude? Let’s face it – negative thinking can get pretty heavy.  

Carrying that kind of “stuff” around is akin to driving your car while looking in the rear-view mirror: it doesn't work, it's hazardous, and you miss the road ahead. And while that road will always hold unexpected twists and turns, it also holds a beautiful landscape that you may well miss if you’re busy looking at what happened last week, last month, last year, or over the last 25 years.

Here's one thing for sure you don’t want to miss (and it’s not the naked woman in the river!). It’s the opportunity to come to your own rescue, to stop yourself from drowning in your past, to set yourself (and your burdens) down on dry land and continue on your journey. The road ahead awaits. Walk on, Brother.