This morning when I set out for my morning walk I noticed small infrequent drops of rain. I have always made it a habit to carry an umbrella when it looks like rain, because I dislike getting wet. As I was near the garage, I decided to grab an umbrella out of my car. After a few minutes of searching, it was nowhere in sight. Looking up at the sky, I assessed the clouds were high, so the chances of serious rain were small.
For the first ten minutes of the walk, it was just very light infrequent drops of rain. This I can cope with, I thought. Actually, I was very proud of myself. This was the first time I had consciously chosen to walk in the rain without an umbrella.
Then suddenly it went from light infrequent drops to a steady downpour. Hmm, I thought this is more than I had bargained for. So I decided to cut through a local park and head back home.
As I was nearing the end of the park I asked myself, why am I afraid of walking in the rain? I realised I had a decision to make. I could be a whim and turn left and head home or women up and turn right to continue my walk.
What the heck, I thought, I am turning right. Yes, I said to myself; I am walking in the rain without an umbrella. As I continued to walk, the steady stream of rain turned into a heavy downpour. It didn’t matter. I was all in on this challenge. As I leisurely walked with the heavy rain beating down on me, I thought where did my dislike of getting wet come from?
My mind was immediately cast back to my childhood. I remember having fun playing in the rain and my mother saying come inside now Jule, or you will catch a cold and get sick. I realised I was never allowed to play in the rain as a child. If it was raining, and we had to face the elements, it was done with a thick raincoat and hat. I realised I was conditioned as a child to believe if I got wet I would get sick.
As the rain continued to pour down on me, it felt good. I had spent my whole life missing out on the joy of feeling the rain on me. It was so liberating.
As I kept walking, I realised we are all conditioned with beliefs that prevent us from truly experiencing the joy and beauty of life. By sharpening our awareness of why we choose to avoid some things and embrace others, we can once again gain control over our lives. By daring to challenge our assumptions, we are choosing not only to bring more happiness into our lives but also more opportunities. How many opportunities are passing us by every day because of our conditioned assumptions? Walking in the rain and getting wet wasn’t life-threatening, but I was treating it as it was.
As I was mulling this over in my mind, I noticed a dad with a baby in a pram coming towards me. The dad greeted me with a big smile on his face. The baby had an equally big smile as it joyfully babbled away as tiny spots of rain sneaked under the hood of the pram.
I could see that child growing up having lots of happy memories. Not being afraid of the rain and enjoying the sheer beauty and feel of its presence.
As I rounded the bend towards home, I was surprised that I was nearly home? The walk appeared so short compared to normal. The truth was, it was actually longer because of the detour I had taken through the park.
As I entered my street, the rain suddenly stopped. Of course, it did. I had met my challenge, and it no longer needed to teach me anything. Although the sun was not shining, it was in my heart.
As I entered the house, I had intended to take off my wet clothes and have a hot shower. But I thought hell no! I am going to sit down and write an article about my experience.
As I went to do this, I could hear my mother in my head saying. Jule have a shower, you will get sick if you sit there in wet clothing. I lovingly replied, thanks mum. I love you, but you were wrong when you said being in the rain rain and getting wet will make me sick. I now know that it will only bring me joy and liberation.
Never let anything rain on your parade!