“Don’t walk in one shoe…” a tradition many of us have heard right?
This hadith is narrated in Sahih Muslim from Jabir. What does it mean though? Let’s back up a minute..
Have you ever broken one of your limbs? You had to over compensate right? You’d walk a little more rigorously, grab a little tighter with your other hand, stretch a little farther to turn… do this for too long, and it becomes a norm.
Now think to yourselves about how we all do this emotionally as well. Do we lean too far looking for approval when we’ve lost it? Do we let encumbrances, setbacks, and personal failures shape who we are? Do we refuse to move forward, for fear of discomforting ourselves, even though we are comfortable now?
By allowing ourselves to remain in disparate situations, we allow our coping mechanisms to become roadblocks to recovery. We allow disproportion to define us. When it is time to get better, we feel we are “losing ourselves,” when in reality we are gaining equilibrium.
So how do you deal with emotional, physical, mental disproportion and imbalance?
Easy, take both shoes off, or put two new shoes on! Don’t allow yourself to be forced into a situation because of present circumstances. Just like you tie your shoes yourself, you can tie your hands as well.
Don’t let that happen! Reach down to whatever it setting you off course and take control. Don’t hang on to one shoe as if you can never part.
You may be anxious to walk barefoot, but soon you’ll learn to love the sand between your toes. It will lead to an ocean of comfort.
Breaking in a new pair of shoes can be stressing, but will give you an edge you never had, and push you that much farther forward in the race.
Seek balance in all you do, the physical informs us of the spiritual.
Its new shoes, or no shoes, never be afraid to walk in both!