Life captured in a powerful metaphor

This morning I received an email from a friend, in which she shared a beautiful and profound metaphor for life – it took my breath away and I thought it would make a cool guest blog. Therefore, this one comes with grateful thanks to Marnie Shaw for sharing her insights with us.

“Well, what a walk I had after our talk this morning Caroline!  I was wandering along, doing my usual walk, thinking about labyrinths (a maze).  We are in a labyrinth in our normal everyday lives and we have a thread that we have dropped behind us.  We can follow the thread back to try and get out of the labyrinth.  This takes a lot of time, and psychotherapy, and money to pay for the psychotherapist and the courses where we learn intellectual techniques about how to follow the string out of our labyrinth more effectively.  Or we can just realise there isn’t a labyrinth at all. And then ‘poof’ – it disappears. 

Marnie is pointing here to the fact that the labyrinth feels real but since we have unknowingly created it by our own thoughts, it can’t actually be true. When we realise what is happening it no longer has any power over us and it naturally shifts on its own.

As I was thinking about this, I felt drawn to go off the usual path and I walked through the trees up the steep hillside.  Then I got to the bracken which is really tall at this time of the year so I couldn’t see where I was going.  I followed one path through the bracken, not a big path but one of the little badger paths (which is interesting in itself Beryl and Kelly!) but it came to a dead end so I turned around.  I got back to a clearing and there was another path out of it so I followed that.  It ended up in a bramble patch which I didn’t want to charge through in case there were birds nesting in it.  So, I turned back thinking I would need to follow the path all the way back down the hill.  Then I was in the clearing again and realised there was a third path.  I followed this one, through the bracken, not able to see where I was going, through a load of beautiful foxgloves.  Eventually I came out on the top of the hill and I could see all around me.  Talk about walking a metaphor!

Sometimes we are just not aware of the opportunities that exist, we make assumptions that take us away from opportunities. Life has a way of unfolding naturally if we let it.

Then as I was walking back home, I was thinking about what Kelly said about how she and Beryl had been talking about figuring out our identity and whether we should just ‘be’.  And then I started thinking about labyrinths again.  We are born and we go through life creating our labyrinth as we go.  One bit of the labyrinth maybe where we were bullied at school, another part is the terrible relationship we had in our early twenties, that bit is where we feel inadequate about our career. 

Marnie is pointing to the fact that we each create our own identity or ego based on our individual experience.

Our labyrinth is our identity.  If we think we aren’t happy we can go charging through the labyrinth trying to figure out why, trying to get out, living through the horrible experiences again.  Or we can realise that there isn’t really a labyrinth and ‘poof’!”

Again, Marnie is pointing out that our identity feels real, of course it does because we have lived through those experiences of being hurt or let down, of struggling with confidence, of suffering from pain and trauma, but just because it feels real doesn’t make it true. It’s not actually who we are. And this is a vital distinction for us to realise. When we are aware of the nature of thought in creating our reality moment to moment, we are free to see that the power to create a different reality in the next moment is always available to us. Why do we continue to search through the old illusion or labyrinth for the answers? Because that’s how reality works – it feels real but it’s a powerful trick of the mind. If you would like to find out more about this, visit my website or read my book “More than you think”, available through the website or on Amazon

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