What I Learned From My Toilet

Lately, I’ve been struggling with the physical part of my life. Diet and exercise are words that make me cringe. They always seem to involve some kind of sacrifice…giving up something that makes me comfortable.

When I think back to all the years I struggled to get clean it was the same kind of feeling. All I could think about were the things I’d have to give up…my friends, the rush of that first moment when all my problems disappeared, the excitement of catching a royal flush on the river, all the things that seemed to give meaning to my existence and made me feel ALIVE.

Moderation has never been part of my vocabulary. I’d get high until I passed out, I’d gamble until every cent was gone and I couldn’t beg, borrow, or steal any more, and I’d eat until I was so stuffed that I’d have to unbutton my pants just to breathe.

This morning, as I was practicing mindfulness while doing a morning ritual, my toilet taught me one of life’s great truths.

After rising from my meditative position and, carefully, inspecting my creation in the bowl (why do we always do that?) I pressed the lever and watched it go down the drain, never to be seen again. Then I watched the water fill the bowl back to its natural capacity.

It would always restore the bowl with the same exact amount of water without fail.

This, I realized, is the same recurring theme that goes on in all of us. Getting rid of the shit in our lives is never about just giving things up. It’s about replacing it with something clean. We always maintain that same level within us. It’s just a matter of whether it’s shit or clean water.

Don’t give anything up in your life, just replace it!