A bird in a cage

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Several years ago, someone I hardly knew compared me to a little bird who was trapped in a cage. She told me that the door of the cage was no longer closed and that I could fly out. I don’t know what made her tell me this, but I believe it was quite accurate.

Not long after this moment, I chose to give it a try to get out of the cage. It took me all the courage I possessed, but after a while I spread my wings. Although it was clumsy at first and I bumped into some obstacles, I learned that I could fly.

Yesterday I was observing a beautiful yellow bird in a small cage. The door was opened and yet the bird chose to stay inside, as if it had forgotten it was supposed to be free.

I realised that in my present life I sometimes do the same. When I stand in front of important crossroads, I often feel in my heart which path to choose. Unfortunately, this is almost always the path that scares me most. What I catch myself doing then, is climb back in my small cage where I have known it to be uncomfortable, but safe. Luckily I usually come to a point where I realise again which motto I want to live by: ‘Do the things you are most afraid of to do’.

I am not talking about doing things that make you feel angry, sad, jealous or any other unpleasant emotion. Protecting yourself from potentially harmful situations is important and a way of loving yourself. I am also not talking about healthy fear that causes the fight or flight reaction in situations of which you rationally know that they are not good for you.

What I am talking about, is that paralysing fear that guides you away from what you actually want in life. It is one of the best teachers. I have found that when I look my ghosts in the eye, they evaporate in no time, which leaves me with an amazing feeling of victory and wondering why I was ever afraid. So, I tell myself every time, and I am telling you now: ‘Common little birdie, it is time to fly!’

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