A friend of mine shared a personal experience that held a very valuable life lesson. She related her story to our church congregation using it for a spiritual analogy. I found its message could surpass all aspects of one’s life so I asked her if I could share it on my blog. A special thank you to my friend, LeeAnn.
LeeAnn was on a bike ride with her family in the Pacific Northwest following a trail that included an incredible 3 mile tunnel with absolutely no light source. Anyone determined to successfully conquer its mysterious depths obviously needed to prepare by securing some type of artificial light to their bike. As LeeAnn succumbed to the blackness of the tunnel the three flashlights she had attached to the front of her bike were not as bright as she had anticipated. In fact, they were hardly a match for the darkness as she struggled to keep up with her daughter catching little glimpses of her here and there. Immediately she began to think the flashlights were defective as she was certain they were not producing enough illumination as they normally would. Frustrated yet determined she continued on with her family until they safely exited the tunnel to welcome back the brightness of the day.
LeeAnn was relieved that she had successfully made it through the tunnel in spite of the “poor” performing flashlights but then quickly realized something. It was not the flashlights that were responsible for her struggle to see, it was something else, something she had total control over. Unknowingly, LeeAnn had entered the tunnel with her sunglasses on. Her inability to clearly see the trail in the dark tunnel was due to her lack of action and not that of the three flashlights. In reality the responsibility rested on her and no one else. She had been convinced the difficulty she experienced in the tunnel was due to something external and out of her control. Absorbed by the problem she did not recognize the fact that she had the power to change her situation at any time until it was too late.
What is the life lesson to be learned in LeeAnn’s story? To most of us it is obvious but even so it certainly does not mean we always remember to apply the lesson. We have heard about wearing “rose colored” glasses but how many of us think about wearing “dark colored” glasses. Do we go through each day with sunglasses on blaming our situation or challenges on everything or everyone else not realizing we have the power to change it if only we were to remove our own “dark” glasses?
Next time you find yourself feeling discouraged and your life feels out of control, consider taking off the dark glasses you may be wearing. By doing so you will discover plenty of bright light to conquer those dark tunnels in life you may be required to go through. Being able to take responsibility and clearly see your journey’s path will allow you to take control and make decisions that will build your confidence and move you closer to your goals.
“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” ~ Denis Waitley