Monday, February 8, 2016

Squirrel or Wolf?

I was in a very large field.  I was HORRIFIED to see a gray wolf running towards me.  His eyes were filled with hunger.  I couldn't move.  My feet were firmly sealed into the ground below.  The wolf crouched ready to spring...and came closer, and closer.  His fangs were bared.  I couldn't cry out or scream.  Every time that I tried not one saving whisper came out.

I suddenly realized that everything seemed out of focus.  I rubbed my eyes.  (Apparently my hands still worked)!  The creature I had perceived to be a life threatening gray wolf, was actually a gray squirrel that bounded up into a tree.

When I awakened, almost instantly I knew the meaning of this dream.  Dreams are very personal, and generally they are just your mind ruminating refuse from your day to day life.  On the other hand, some dreams can teach  you.  This was one of those kind of dreams.

In my life I often build up challenges and problems in my mind until they seem enormous.  Yet times when I focus and face the problem they turn out to be squirrels.  Many, many times in my life I have felt paralyzed by a challenge, worry, or problem.  I often blow the trouble out of perspective.  When I finally face my difficulty, I often find that the worry was actually much smaller than I originally considered.

Why do I share this personal experience?  I share it because I'm pretty much certain that others in the world have this challenge beside me.  Have you turned any gray squirrels into wolves?  What ARE the issues facing you?  Can you focus, concentrate, use creativity, and turn your wolf into a squirrel?

Perspective is a gift.  It tells you, "You've done hard things before.  You can do this again!"  Today, take ten minutes.  Go in a room all by yourself with paper, pen, or some technological device.  Turn off the ringer on your phone.  List the problems you are currently holding on a slow simmer in your mind.  Face them squarely and write down any types of positive coping mechanisms that you have.  (NO CHOCOLATE IS NOT a positive coping mechanism).  lol  Write a plan of action that gives you the strength to face these problems.

There is an old story that my Mama used to tell.  A man came to a wealthy farmer to get a job.  The farmer asked about the man's job skills.  The man was a yes or no, and only talk when you have to kind of guy.  He said tersely, "I can sleep through thunder storms."

The farmer thought that was an odd reply, but his need for help was great.  He hired the man.  Six months later a tremendous thunder storm hit.  When the farmer looked for his hired worker he found that he was in bed asleep.

Angrily the farmer said, "Why are you in bed?  Get up!  We have to close the shutters, make certain that all of the animals are safely in the barn, and that they have food and water access in the barn.  We must make certain that all things that could blow away in a storm are in the the shed for tools, and other things that blow away.

The man smiled, "I can sleep through a storm."

The farmer decided the man was crazy.  He didn't want to deal with this man's seeming craziness.  He stalked out into the yard to do all the things he had listed.  Everywhere he went every task had been done and done well.  Finally he understood his employee's words.  He literally COULD sleep through a storm because he was always well prepared.

In the morning he apologized to the wise employee and begged him to stay at his farm.

The man smiled broadly and said two words, "Of course."

The good news is that our feet are not sealed to the ground.  We have voices, and we can articulate things that matter.  What are you fearing today?  Is it better to postpone it or should you face it and overcome?

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