Have you ever walked up to a window and watched a bee, on the inside, trying to get out but bumping, time and again, against the window? The bee must be looking outside and thinking, “That’s where I want to go.” Maybe the bee hive is in a tree right outside the window and that is where the bee is heading. Maybe there are some flowers in the yard that the bee wants to go to. The bee can see what it wants, and where it wants to go, yet every time it tries to get out it runs into something. Can the bee see the glass and not know how to get around it or is the bee not able to see the glass and, therefore, not even know why it’s stuck? Either way, the bottom line is, the bee is stuck and is trying to get out.
Sometimes, when I see a bee struggling to be free, I will open a window for it. As the window opens I might feel a breeze on my skin, or smell the fresh air. Maybe I can smell flowers right outside the window, or the smell of the fresh cut grass, sometimes, I can even smell the rain. Bees have a strong sense of smell and the opening of the window might, for a moment, overwhelm the bee with the fresh smells of nature. Can you imagine the anticipation growing in the bee? The sights and now the smells of outside renew the bee’s determination to get outside. It’s there, right there and yet, still, every time it tries, something blocks it from getting outside.
But it’s all right there. Right in front of the bee. The sights, the sounds, the smells, everything the bee wants, right there. How frustrating to see what you need, what you want, and have something you don’t understand, can’t explain, blocking you from getting to it. But bees don’t give up easily. Nope, stand and watch, and you will see the bee keep trying. Sometimes it looks like they back up more than other times, maybe making a run for it, or putting extra effort in, maybe the bee thinks, “This time, this time I’ve got it.” and then...bang! It runs into the window again.
Can you imagine how frustrating that must be? Putting your energy, your heart and soul into getting out and yet, time and again, something blocks you, something that you can’t even describe. All of your efforts, all of your energy, all the excitement and anticipation of being free but, still something prevents you from moving forward. Each time you are blocked you can feel the energy being sucked out of you. So much so that you don’t think you will ever get your energy back. As the energy from trying to be free drains from your body you begin to find that even the little things seem like huge obstacles. Your tooth hurts and instead of just needing to see the dentist, it feels like one more thing that blocks you from the freedom you desire. The freedom you desire.
Maybe you make a new commitment to getting out. A new goal gives you direction. You begin making future plans. You notice you have more energy and are feeling good about the future. You are feeling the breeze of the open window and smelling the fresh air as it blows in. You know that you are ready to spread your wings and this time you are sure to soar. You are excited because you finally made it. You finally made it and you just know that things are going to be better. With renewed energy and a determination, you haven’t felt in years you spread your wings and prepare to fly out and experience the beautiful sights you see. As you think about being free, as you consider that you are already free, you start telling people how great you are doing and all the plans you have for the future. People are excited for you; you are excited for yourself. "I'm out, I'm out" you sing. "Look at me, I made it and I'm out."
Your mind races with the things that you can do now that you are free. You will live better; you will give back to the community. You can finally be a voice, a voice of hope for those still fighting their battles. You envision yourself calling out "you can do it, look at me, I did it." You sing, you dance, and maybe you even allow yourself to be proud of your accomplishments.
"You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights." Yes, you think of Dr. Seuss and high heights that await you. Oh if you had only done this sooner. If you had only known, had only been able to find the direction and learn the skills that you know are taking you out of your pain. "I did it!" you exclaim and off you go. Off you go, on your way, you're going to be great. (Yes, there is a little bragging in that but don't you deserve even just a little bragging?) The air gathers under your wings and with great determination and pride you reach for the sky and, all of a sudden, you hit something. That same thing that has blocked your progress all these years, that same thing you were so certain you had overcome that you were bragging about getting over, yes, that, that thing not only stops you again, it stops you and throws you down into the pit that you were sure you were out of.
As you try to pick yourself up to at least stand, you begin to realize what happened. You realize that things were not settled and now, despite all the high praise you were giving yourself, as you sit in the pit because, try as you might, you can’t even stand, you begin to think of all the people, people that were watching and waiting for you to soar, they are now looking down on you in the pit. Many good and kind people will stand at the edge of the pit and will extend a hand of help to you. They don’t want to see you there anymore than you want to be there. But how difficult it is to feel this defeat again and to have to look everyone in the eye knowing that they know, once again, you didn’t make it out.
Oh the feelings you will feel, and I don't think that's a Dr. Seuss quote. Shame, anger, frustration, depression, exasperation, disappointment, disillusionment, exhaustion. How did you open yourself up to this again? How did you let yourself begin feeling so positive?
What is it that gets in the way? Like the bee, if you don't know about windows, then trying to answer that question could be next to impossible. All you know is that something keeps blocking you from progress and it is exhausting to keep trying. But, down deep, you know, you will try again.