Your house needs a rock

Posted on March 22, 2012


“He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” Bible *
“As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, a wise man is not shaken by blame and praise.” -Dhammapada *


These quotes, from the Bible and the Dhammapada respectfully, are two of my favorites. When I began asking myself-What does it mean to build my house upon a rock?-the answers I discovered went far greater than my original, spiritually-centered interpretation.

Like most women, I was raised to seek the approval of others. I tended to take this to the extreme and for years I went to great lengths to make sure others approved of me.  When someone didn’t approve of a decision I had made (regarding my career, my romantic life, my choice of colas, you name it), the self-doubt that arose was debilitating. For a very long time, I just assumed that others knew better than I did.

Several years ago, I decided to take a huge risk. After taking a hiking vacation in Oregon, I decided I wanted to spend a year on the west coast. I completely fell in love with the huge redwoods and spruces, the lush flowers, the fresh air, the best coffee I’ve ever had, and the open-minded, kind people.

When I told others of my intention, however, everyone (and I do mean almost everyone) was against the idea. My family, my friends, my roommates, my colleagues-you name it. Almost everyone told me I would be making a huge mistake by making the move. So, naturally, I began to doubt my strong, intuitive hunch that told me a year on the west coast would be good for me. 

I had a wise mentor at the time who told me to follow my gut. He actually told me that I had spent my life building my house upon the sand by searching for the approval of others and it was time to find a rock.

So, despite the voices around me who kept shouting their bad advice, I made the move. I decided that perhaps my mentor was right. I had spent my time building my life on the shifting sands of others’ opinions. It was now time for a stronger foundation.

I saved up enough money to last me several months (because I was told it might be tough to find employment in Portland). I quit my job as a teacher, gave away almost all of my possessions, sold my sports car and moved out to the Pacific Northwest.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

After that year, I decided that I would no longer let others choose my life for me.

Now that I’m married with children, I can’t just pick up and move across the country anytime I’d like. I’m grateful that I went when I could and I often look back upon going to Oregon as one of the most fun adventures I’ve ever had. The risk I took moving there opened up an entirely new chapter of courage for my life. I’m so glad I did what I knew was right for me. 

An SCA knows that only she knows what’s best for her and her life. She has built her house upon a strong foundation-a rock of self-awareness and self-acceptance. She doesn’t waste her time trying to win the approval of others but rather follows the path she knows is best for her. 

*My coaching practice is not associated with any religion. In this blog, I quote scriptures from all religions that I’ve found to be personally meaningful, full of truth and aligned with my coaching philosophy. I share them with you in that spirit only.