I have several spiritual practices I do each morning. One is during my morning prayers to ask God to send me my best teachers; those who will poke me where it hurts, so I can see what I need to work on.
I moved recently and live on a beautiful lake which with a silent meditation still includes birds, owls, and ducks and is extremely peaceful. My new routine includes meditating by the lake.
After a few days of moving in a family friend came to help with some handiwork and he joked about the alligators in the lake. I noticed myself meditating with one eye open. The fear slowly subsided, but then another friend came over and made another joke about this imaginary alligator. I noticed myself grow fearful as I went out each morning. On one morning I actually stayed on the right side of the fence, just in case!
A few days ago when I went outside, asking for my teacher and what I needed to learn about myself, I realized…. the (imaginary) alligator was the teacher!
I consider myself a woman of unwavering faith. I am true believer that everything happens for a reason, and if that includes being eaten by an alligator then so be it, but here I was demonstrating how little faith I had. With every squeak or splash in the lake I would jump out of meditation. I remember reading about a guru in India who would mediate while snakes would crawl over his skin. Maybe I am not a yogi, but I certainly have more faith than letting any little thing disturb me during meditation. I knew it was something to explore and meditate on. I knew there would be more to this lesson.
A few days later, walking with a friend in the park, she shared with me that she is terrified of alligators, and that they often appear in her nightmares.
I remembered the infamous scene in Peter Pan when the alligator is trying to eat Captain Hook and how he is working hard to free himself of the jaws of this fierce creature.
The spirit guides suddenly say, “the alligator is all of us and we are trying to save our spirit-self from our ego-self”.
That scene from Peter Pan is a rich metaphor for the struggle between spirit and ego.
When I sit by the lake the lack of faith is in myself. We self sabotage by giving our alligator (ego) all the power and our spirit is trying to break free and remind us of what we truly are.
Tomorrow I will aim to go out by that lake again and meditate disregarding the alligator and ego and remembering the spirit I truly am. I’ll keep you posted if the alligator or Captain Hook wins!
PS. I wrote this several days ago and I have been successful in meditating peacefully by the lake. At least for now Spirit is winning!