Rather than attempting to dominate with your forcefulness, be like water: flow everywhere there’s an opening. Soften your hard edges by being more tolerant of contrary opinions, behaviors and lifestyles, as well as other ethnic groups. Interfere less, and substitute listening, and stop directing and telling others how to live their lives. When someone offers you their viewpoint, try responding with: “I’ve never considered that before, thank you. I’ll give it some thought.”
When you give up interfering, and opt instead to stream like water — gently, softly and unobtrusively, you actually become “forgiveness” itself. Let folks do things their way, and not always your way.
Picture yourself as having the same qualities as water. Allow your soft, weak, yielding, fluid self to enter places where you previously were excluded because of your inclination to be solid and hard. Flow softly into the lives of those with whom you feel conflicted. Picture yourself entering their private inner selves, seeing perhaps for the first time what they’re experiencing. Keep this image of yourself as gently coursing water, and watch how your relationships change.
It is a scientific fact: water does indeed reach its own level. It’s also a scientific fact that our bodies are made of 90 percent water. And the Bible (Genesis 1:9) says the same thing: “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
The Bible also reminds us “As a man thinketh, so is he.” So what are we thinking? It shows when we open our mouths, with the things we say. We will create more of that which we are judging, simply by the act of placing attention on it. Whatever we judge in other people is something in ourselves we recognize, except we don’t want to look at it, but it is there, just flow.
The Holy Spirit knows the number of hairs on our heads; it knew us before we were formed, so our thoughts are nothing. Scripture reminds us “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” It tells us, “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
So drink up, and never thirst again. You will be working on yourself from within. Look to the level of your own water, beliefs, thought patterns, and allow the Word to take you to another level. View them the same way you view garage sales. Keep some, get rid of others.
You know immediately whether you’re using items or not. It served you for a while, but now it doesn’t. Time to get rid of it, to make room for something new. It’s the same thing with behaviors and beliefs and thought patterns that no longer serve you. Simply remove them, make room for new thoughts and beliefs. Change your level. As with all change, there might be a grieving process associated with it. Be gentle: don’t judge, don’t go to a place of shame or guilt, just release and move on.
My mentors have all been older — Dr. Dorothy Height and Dr. Willie B. Kennedy, and Dr. Marjorie Harris, a retired college president in Detroit. She was like another mother to me. All are deceased now, but each taught me in a special way. It was crucial that while learning from each of them, that I just go with the flow. I didn’t know what they know. I went right when they told me to go right, and left when they said left, just flowed, not trying to be a know-it-all! If water seeks its own level, I’ve been in good company.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.