itsy bitsy spider

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again

Three days ago, as I stepped into my shower, I noticed a small brownish spider frantically trying to crawl up the side of the tub. I quickly turned off the water and found something to move the little guy out of the tub with. After my shower, I watched as he tried crawling up the slick walls, tumbling down, climbing up, tumbling down. Before I could move him outside... he was out of view.

Two days ago, as I stepped into the shower, I noticed the same spider fall from the shower curtain into the tub. Drenched by water and already in the tub myself, I moved the little guy, again, out of the tub onto the dry bath mat. As I closed the shower curtain I caught him scurrying back towards the bathtub.

As I opened the curtain after my shower, I was saddened to see the spider in a puddle of water just outside the tub. I moved him to a towel and attempted to dry him off. But, it was too late.

As with everything, there is a lesson here.

The most important element of this story is what the spider taught me. He taught me that we can wish the best for others but we cannot direct their lives. We cannot prevent them from making choices that are harmful or, in our opinions, "wrong." We cannot convince them out of their will.

This is a hard lesson and most of us fail it. We want to change the people in our lives so we can be happy. And they want to change us for the same reason. Yet, it is not our role or our right to redefine someone's will without their permission. We can offer guidance, advice and coaching to someone who seeks it-but when we impose unsolicited guidance we deny a person his or her will. And more importantly, we miss the lesson intended for us in that situation.

Every situation provides us with opportunities to grow more conscious of ourselves and how we interact with the world. When we spend all of our time judging or critiquing how others live, we practice far too little time in reflection of ourselves. We lose touch with who we are even though we demand others live according to our rules.

The most effective way to positively influence others is by choosing the path of wholeheartedness and by transparent with your process.

Love the people in your life. Practice your values. And when the people you love don't mirror your values, take time to reflect on  yourself and your alignment with Source. The rest will take care of itself.