Have you ever watched a movie where the hero dangles from a cliff by the wispiest of branches protruding from a rock? The longer he swings and kicks and tightens his grip, the quicker the twig disintegrates. The hero is terrified of what is below and refuses to trust that his buddies have pulled a wagon of fluffy hay beneath him to soften his descent. â€œLet go!,â€ they yell. â€œIt will be okay.â€
Nope, he canâ€™t do it. If he lets goâ€”at least in his mindâ€”his life is over. Worst case, he dies. Next worse case, he lands hard and becomes crippled. Next case, heâ€™s injured and it will take months to recoverâ€¦heâ€™ll lose his job, his girl, and even his horse wonâ€™t like him anymore. And! And, if he survives the fall his friends will never let him live it down that he fell over the cliff in the first place. The hero will not let go until the branch lets go for him.
I know Iâ€™ve been that guy, even though Iâ€™m a woman. Sometimes I become so entrenched in habits and beliefs, that I canâ€™t let go of what is familiar. I canâ€™t let go of what I think is safe and comfortable when in truth it is false security at best. The hay wagon is waiting below, but I donâ€™t trust Iâ€™ll survive intact. Now that I realize this about myself Iâ€™ve been giving it plenty of thought. Maybe it is the age Iâ€™m at but, of late, Iâ€™m doing my best to learn to let go.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, â€œFaith is taking the first step even when you donâ€™t see the whole staircase.â€ My husband actually bought me a small placard with those words and I keep it near my clock so I see it every time I glance up to check the time. I need the reminder…let go…let go.
I was talking with a woman today whom I deeply admire. During our conversation Dr. Low Dog said something like, â€œLife is messy. It just is. I donâ€™t understand people who say, â€˜Iâ€™m off my path.â€™ No! We donâ€™t get off our path. Itâ€™s all the path we are meant to be on, including detours.â€ I found myself nodding at the truth of it.
Iâ€™m also trying to be open to signs that, messy or not, Iâ€™m moving forward…or up, or down, or sideways. Movement is crucial to my current state of restlessness, and I know you canâ€™t move if youâ€™re anchored to something, or someone, stuck.
As I walked Booker this morning I saw a large owl float through the trees and land on a branch nearly hidden in the cool shadows of the woods. The owl and I stared at each other. It surprised me to see him in the daylight hours, or at all for that matter. Owls are not a common sight in my reality. Then, as Booker and I proceeded homewards, a grey cat sat on the side of the road staring at me as well. There are numerous barn cats in our area, but they seldom sit and stare like that, particularly with Bookerâ€™s presence. A short time later an orange cat sat in the tall grass and watched me go by. There was something gargoyle-like in all of this. I felt watched and protected for some reason. An owl, two cats, and a sense of peace.
I Googled animal symbolism. It turns out owls are known as harbingers of change. The old idea that an owl meant death is taken out of context. Death, yes, but of old ways and habits not physical death. They also represent the ability to discern truth from lies. Then I checked out cats as spirit guides and, according to http://www.spiritanimal.info/cat-spirit-animal, here is what I read:
If the cat shows up in your life as a spirit guide or you have this animal as totem, you may be inclined to start exploring areas in your life or aspects or yourself that you do not know well yet.
Hmmmâ€¦death of old ways and habits, new explorations, and change. Letting go is sounding rather exciting. That metaphorical hay wagon below is looking more and more inviting.