Preparing for a late-night walk in the rain with my dog Joy, my coat, hood and headband flashlight had made the dark, damp night feel safe.
I had been walking for almost 45 minutes before I realized that my head was dully aching. The guiding light of my headband’s light had been bright enough to help me find my way along the dirt road and choose secure and solid steps over the uneven ground, rocks and mud puddles, but once over the rough terrain, it became a burden. Had I been more tuned into the feeling of my skull being compressed by the headband, I would have removed it sooner. As soon as I realized and acted upon this, I instantly regretted my earlier lack of attention; the release of the taught elastic band that secured the lamp to my forehead loosened, and I felt immediate relief, expansion and freedom.
I then removed my hood and felt a natural high as the cool breeze blew through my hair. I began to think about how clinging to something—or someone—else’s guiding light and protection might end up sheltering me in the long run.
In my past, I held onto a guiding light: a teacher whom I felt compelled to follow along with, step by step. Following my teacher’s light, I felt safe and protected, but it was only after our time together ended that I discovered my own way. Without the teacher’s light, I was forced to find my own. Without their protection, I had to be brave; to stumble, get back up, and find my own groove. The chance to do things my own way gave me a new freedom that I had never known. This, too, was a natural high that felt just like the sudden cool breeze blowing through my hair: refreshing, liberating, proud and abundant.
Why do we remain under the wings of those who’ve led us, rather than take flight on our own journey with what we’ve learned?
Where have we allowed overprotection in our lives, and how has that stifled our freedom?
What are we clinging to for safety which only holds us back from being who we really are?
When will we allow our own guiding lights to shine brighter than those without whom we thought we’d be blind?
The brilliance of others can be helpful to us when balanced with our own guidance. The protection of others can be a safe place while we strengthen ourselves, but it’s not meant to be a place to curl up and hide from our own potential.
As I walked without the guiding light and hooded protection, I saw the night sky, the moon and the stars and realized that unsheltered and untethered is where my true freedom is.
Best wishes for your steps to freedom,
Penny Tremblay is the Director of the Tremblay Leadership Center, an international speaker, author, trainer and mentor with more than 20 years experience on the subject of business relationships. Her work has been published internationally for over ten years in online and offline publications, books and audio products. Her new book, Give and Be Rich will help you tap the circle of abundance in early 2014. Penny lives in Northern Ontario where she loves to balance family, career and time for spiritual self-mastery. www.PennyTremblay.com