If we allow it, the depth of meaning for water flows from the physical appreciation of water sustaining life to a deeper understanding of water as love. We are all invited to drink deeply from a spring of living water to quench an inner thirst for love and connection. Water is Life Ethiopia goes beyond providing just the physical resource that sustains life to the deeper invisible roots of dignity and self-esteem which changes behaviors and mindsets. We must touch people in the heart to drink from an inner spring discovered only by digging deep into our own intrinsic well through personal experience. The digging and excavation, painful as it is, eventually frees us to live to our full potential. The acronym, W-A-T-E-R, helps to remind us of the unsuspecting pattern that leads toward this authentic transformation.
W is “Waking up to Wisdom.” Wisdom includes listening and learning to all forms of knowing hidden in our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional intelligence. Like drilling a well, the awakening requires the removal of overburden that buries and silences the precious resource of our true and solid identity, already full of worth and goodness. Through struggle and pressure, we become more and more aware that our real identity is rooted in love.
A is “Authentic authorship of unique lives.” We tend to live from many kinds of intellectual scripts and emotional reactive responses that are based in tradition, cultural expectations and personal preferences, but these no longer serve us well. Wisdom leads us to self-leadership and personal responsibility that, if we allow it, breaks through every resistant barrier that blocks us from the real and lasting change that we seek in ourselves and in our communities. We discover freedom to author our lives in ways different from the insidious traps that keep us living small and separate lives. Our vocation begins to flow with integrity from our true identity.
T is “Thanksgiving!” As we tap the inner spring of Love and authenticity, we realize that all of life is a gift. Our only worthy sacrifice is to say thank you. This inner gratitude to know and experience love changes the trajectory of life from despair and toil to hope, peace and joy. We learn to accept all parts and histories of our lives, but with a very different and life-alterning perspective. In this movement, Ethiopians are our teachers.
E is “Exchange Energy.” With renewed perspective, we can now consciously participate and choose to drink from a different well or source of energy. Drawing from the deep well of wisdom, we can deliberately give up the small and cramped person that we tend to become in in exchange for the emergence of a unique, responsible and mature person who is full of life and love.
R is “Restore Relationships.” As we follow and practice the great exchange of energy, we experience healing of broken relationships. Wars and revenge are no longer needed. Respect and dignity are restored. We begin to make different choices that lead to renewal and new ways to move forward in community. We stop scattering and start gathering the pieces into a wonderful wholeness amidst all the diversity.