I love turtles…I pretty much love most animals, but turtles and dogs are my favorites. I believe turtles are a perfect representation of the human spirit…the part of us that wants to be exposed…our peaceful inner self.
Now, I am not an expert on all things turtle; I just know that I feel peace and happiness in their presence. Symbolically, turtles have a hard shell that protects a fragile heart, just as many humans have reactively created a hard shell to protect a wounded heart. Turtles adapt and persevere. They slowly and methodically float through life…surviving on land and in the water. They are slow and serene…watching them float or sunbathe rewards me with a calming and peaceful feeling.
When I was in graduate school, we had to choose a word and write it on a rock that described one of our peers. The word that my peer gave me was “persevere.” I still have that rock…it means a lot to me and keeps me mindful of a part of who I am and what I’ve been through. It also reminds me that, although I do believe persevering has served my life, it’s not a place that I want to visit often.
If I am persevering, then I am struggling, trudging through life, not accepting my current situation, getting through, or “fighting to get ahead.” If I’m resisting my current situation, I’m not flowing…I’m not in acceptance of this moment…I’m discontent…I’m putting one foot in front of the other to get to the next moment as fast as I can.
How can we manifest the flowing and peaceful perseverance of the turtle?
With connection and compassion, for ourselves and for others. The ability to persevere shows strength in character…resilient spirit…adaptability. It positively serves in times where you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other…in times where you’re walking through the dark tunnel…in times where you have hit that wall.
It absolutely serves your resilient nature.
Persevering might mean inching along, crawling at times, then slowly walking, until we are running and eventually able to soar. There are times when we might be soaring, only to hit a wall (like the hummingbird) and have to inch along and persevere again.
I am of the belief that many of us are persevering through the current state of non-connection, of seeing our differences and not embracing our similarities, of hoping that we will get through this current time where civil unrest and retaliation is occurring. For me, persevering only serves if we can notice it and integrate positive change towards love, compassion, connection and peace.
Lastly friend, my hope is that you (and I) would persevere only as long as we need to. That we would channel our inner turtle…be adaptable…slowly, methodically, and peacefully move and float through life. Sometimes life can be painful, we get defensive and the hard shell wants to thicken with yet another layer over our fragile heart.
Maybe keep that shell only as thick as it needs to be for true survival…maybe recognize when it wants to thicken and have compassion for yourself…maybe visualize floating and flowing and take a deep breath. After all, the turtle can breath and the turtle can float…and the turtle does all of that with peace and ease.
Here’s to your inner turtle!