Says who?

I came across this bench a few weeks ago while visiting a beautiful little nook of a city I love to visit. Because I’m a human in 2022, of course, I immediately took a photo of it. (Sigh.) I loved the message, though, and I still do. Then, I considered another perspective.

So, the message that the “walk” of life (as I read it) isn’t entirely about always moving ahead is super resonant for me right now — for a lot of us, I think. Rest renews us, and (the best part!) not necessarily for the sheer purpose of getting us moving again. We rest because we want to. We can. We must.

Then, my inner voice piped up. Yes, all have one. Mine sometimes has a bit of a dry wit. Well,” she said to me, “of course a bench would say that.” I laughed at myself, which is a common occurrence. (Double sigh.) Kinda funny, very true. When it comes to the messages you receive, it’s important to consider the source.

The world, even the sliver of it any one of us occupies, suffers no shortage of opinions, assertions, sound bites and full-on dissertations about the “right” ways to think and choices to make. Many of us know the weight of the well-meaning advice of someone we respect, or even love, and how hard it can be to disregard. Moreover, everyone you meet has themselves made countless choices to arrive at their current situation. If you don’t heed their experience and wisdom in your decisions, what does that say to them about their own judgment?

It’s enough to make you want to hit the bench for a few deep breaths.

No matter how sensible, emotionally satisfying or even profound a message you encounter might seem, it might be wise to pause before swallowing it as your own, and consider the source. Everything — and everyone — outside of you has their own perspective, and their own experience to direct. What makes sense from where they sit may not make sense from where you sit.

Or for that matter, where you don’t.

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