When I was 10 years old I moved all my furniture, piece by piece, by myself ~ dresser, desk, mattress, headboard, mirror, bookshelves, books ~ down a narrow flight of steep stairs into the huge basement that I had convinced my mother to let me turn into my bedroom.
When my mom got home from work and saw what I had done, she was perplexed and amazed. How had my little body managed to maneuver those big, cumbersome pieces?
The answer: I just did it. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t question my capabilities. I held my vision strong and put my body to work.
That afternoon imprinted me with a deep feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment and taught me that vision, determination and physical strength were essential skills for me to cultivate if I wanted to be able take action on my own behalf and create the reality that mattered to me.
As I stretched out across my mattress preparing for sleep in my new bedroom that night, my confidence quickly dissolved. The basement seemed so far away from the rest of my family. There were sounds I didn’t recognize. There were windows that lead straight into the dark, forested backyard. I felt lonely and defenseless.
I didn’t sleep well.
The next night I put off going down to my bedroom for as long as I could, until my body was so tired that sleep was inevitable.
On the third night I heard a large wolf-bear high fiving a centaur-dragon at a monster burglar spy party taking place just outside the wall where the head of my bed sat. I was sure of it. I didn’t sleep at all.
On the fourth night, when it came time to make my way to bed, my body went numb. I felt paralyzed. I mustered up every ounce of courage I had and mumbled under my breath to my mom, “It’s so far away down there.”
She understood instantly all the meaning behind that simple statement. With the kind of gentleness that only a mother can give she said, “You don’t have to sleep down there anymore if you don’t want to.”
That night I slept on the floor of my old bedroom. The next day I moved all my furniture ~ piece by piece ~ back upstairs. I slept so well that night.
Vision, determination and physical strength keep possibility alive.
Vulnerability, uncertainty and allowing grand plans to crumble into the sea can do that too.
When was the last time you felt strong, dear friends?