Who told you

Who told you that you have to be a good girl? That boys aren’t supposed to cry? That you can’t have what you want? Who told you you’re not good enough?

Who told you that you have to work yourself to death under the iron fist of another? Where did you get the idea that you need to suffer? Who told you that disease and disaster are inevitable? Who led you to believe that their book, belief, or philosophy is the one true way?

Who told you these things? Have you considered that they may be wrong?

I have a dear friend who spent many years living in Alaska. Now, people who live in Alaska are extraordinary. And when a group of friends got together and decided to canoe part of the Kenai River, Peaches was ready. The people she was rafting with had experience, so everything was under control.

When they let her know that they were NOT traveling the quiet, laid back section of the river she was familiar with, she had confidence that her friends knew what they were doing. They explained that the section they were going down was a Class IV and she thought, well, a four out of ten in difficulty should still be doable. Maybe it wasn’t going to be the relaxing, kick your feet up, float down a lazy river, but it wasn’t going to be anything scary.

Peaches learned that day, there are only six classifications for whitewater. What she saw when they started down the river looked to her like churning pools of death.

The ride was rough, the group didn’t have enough experience and along the way one of the canoes overturned, dumping contents and people into the river. Those in Peaches’ group managed to pull into a cliffside cut away. The beach had just enough room for the canoe and a couple of people to stand.

As Peaches stood there, she began to panic. She began to cry and was on the verge of a full meltdown, even before they saw all the bear sign. Her voice trembled as she stammered…
“but my dad says I don’t know whether I’m on foot or horseback. My dad says, I just missed being beautiful.” Her voice grew desperate… “My dad says… “ And as every undermining thing her dad had ever told her began to pour forth, Big Jim took Peaches firmly by the shoulders, looked her straight in the eye and said sternly, “ Your dad… was wrong”. She drew a deep, shaky breath. And knew. Her dad WAS wrong.

They got back in the canoe and they didn’t die. They saved the other canoe, managed not to be eaten by bears, and didn’t get get completely lost when they followed along the right bank as everyone else took the left fork of the river.

The only way to discern the truth is to experience it. We are here having an experience. The experience is not who we are or what we do. We can move through and past the experience to find ourselves. To learn who we really are. And that may be the whole point anyway.

So consider that whomever told you all the things you believe… They may be wrong.

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