Karla’s Korner: Removing the Chains
Born in the wild, captured and chained to a trailer for over twenty years ago mountain lion Mufasa was forced to perform in an illegal circus his entire life. With a heavy harness strapped around his body, chained to the back of a pick-up truck amongst piles of rusty circus equipment for 20 years Mufasa endured a life of misery. Although the Peruvian government banned circuses from using wild animals in their performances Mufasa remained chained and neglected. Recently Animal Defenders International (ADI) diligently worked to rescue Mufasa and after a lengthy standoff with circus officials he was released back into the wild to a protected wildlife reserve nestled in a secluded area of Peru.
Watching this Mufasa’s life changing transformation from captivity to freedom I was reminded how often we feel chained or tied to something that keeps us held down preventing us from living life to its fullest. How often do we move about life tethered to our jobs, family responsibilities and social obligations? Quite often we plod through our days not paying attention to what should matter because we are paying attention to what we think matters. Sifting through the Sunday paper it is apparent that Black Friday shopping has become beyond important not only to retailers but to the consumer as well. Major department and big box stores are opening on Thanksgiving evening to get a jump start on the Black Friday market. Separating the sale papers from the newspapers it is apparent that there really isn’t much news in the newspaper; it’s all about the deal.
A while back I shared with a friend how difficult certain relationships had become and while whining and seeking his sympathy I was taken aback as he encouraged me to make a list of things I was thankful for in connection to those relationships. “Think about it, pray about it and focus on it with your heart” he encouraged and as I followed his instructions I found that the list I thought impossible to write began to grow. Allowing the “chains” that had my heart held captive my vision had been blurred and as I began to focus I realized that while those relationships were strained and may always will be there are some really good things that have come out of those relationships. Once in a while I pull that list out re-read it and add to it as I remember something new. You see, life is filled with those binding, chain like moments and relationships that leave us feeling overwhelmed, tied down and disconnected. Much like the chains and harness that kept Mufasa weighed down for over twenty years our lives can do the same to us. We must, however, make a conscious decision to release those chains, those things that hold us back from living the life we are intended to live, becoming the person we are meant to become and making a difference in our world.
As Thanksgiving arrives in just a few days I encourage to put the sale papers away, disconnect from the cyber sales and pay attention to life as is goes on around you. Pay attention to the good stuff, the sweet stuff and make a list. What is it that you are truly thankful for? My guess is there are a lot of little things that make up your thankful list. Thankful is going to work every day knowing that life is better because of the people you work with. Thankful is the friends you have in your life who treat you like family, love you without condition and kick you in the ass when you need it. Thankful is going to bed every night feeling warm and safe without fear. Thank you is a dog who barks every time you enter the house even if you were just taking out the trash. Thankful is watching your children learn, grow, fall in love and share their time with you because they want and not have to. Thankful is a spouse who leaves to run errands and returns with your favorite latte because he knows how much you enjoy it. Thankful is receiving test results from the doctor telling you that everything is clear and that you are healthy. Thankful is living in a country where you are free to live where you want, love who you want and be who you want to be.
I encourage you to break free from the things that have you tied down, held back keeping you from the good stuff, the sweet stuff that life has waiting for you. Live fully, love with your whole heart and laugh from that deep place in your soul with a spirit of thankfulness for being who you are. Be well.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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