While playing with my niece the other day I came up with, what seems to me, an interesting story. She played the ‘teacher’ and I had to write up a ‘story’. This is basically what I came up with:
A young 8 year old boy named Jim wanted to take a walk through the forest. He noticed that there were two paths: a high road and a low road. Looking at them he most definitely wanted to take the high road because he was feeling too low already that day, he was feeling too depressed. “If I take the low road it will only make me feel more low” he said to himself, so he started off on the high road. He walked and walked through the forest passing many trees, rocks, bushes, and other forest things. He even had to jump over a few small streams . . . luckily, he made it and didn’t get wet! Occasionally he even saw a squirrel scurry up a tree. Birds chirped and the trees leaves seemed to sing in the wind. It was a good walk. He walked for who knows how long. It must not of been too long as it was far from getting dark. And then, as he strutted along, he stopped and said, “wait a minute . . . this is where I started!” He was having so much fun he didn’t even notice where he was at. Turning around, he looked and was struck by the fact that he had come down the low road, the very road he tried to avoid.
The meaning of this story mystified me at first. Something in my gut told me that there was a great truth in it. After some reflection I realized that it means that if we are aware of something then we are already ‘down that road’, even when we don’t take it deliberately. In effect, an avoidance of something – a truth, an emotion, a fact – is not an avoidance, it doesn’t just disappear. Avoidance is really more of a ‘detour’, as its existence will come back to us again. Once we are aware of something we ARE aware of it. Its existence is within us, its reality is there. In some sense, its now waiting for our reaction. In other words, once we are aware of something, we are bound to react to it.