August 25, 2016
This morning was particularly nice, and my wife opened a window in our dining room. A few hours later after it had warmed up, I heard our air conditioning unit kick on outside, so I decided to go over to close the window.
When I got over to the window, there was a bee walking on the pane trying to find his way back outside. He walked back and forth along the pane, as it was clear this was his first introduction to that transparent material known as glass. He could not find his way out.
From where I stood, I could see that in order for him to get out, he would have to cross over the mountainous barrier that was the frame of the window. I could also understand that from his perspective, when he reached the frame, all indications would be for him to turn around and head in the other direction – back across the pane from which there was no escape.
There was no screen in the opening of the window. If he had kept going over the window frame, there was freedom awaiting him. But he came across this barrier and felt he had reached the end of the line and turned around.
He also could have let go of the window pane, and flown back into the room, in the complete opposite direction of where freedom was awaiting him (and the complete opposite direction of where he felt he needed to go) and then easily seen the real way out.
I wonder how often we are like the bee. I wonder how often we (and I’m certainly including myself in this) are in a place where we are stuck on a problem, feeling we are so close to the answer, to freedom, but aren’t able to get there.
How often are we stuck, and the real way out, which we can’t see, is to fly in the opposite direction of where we are ultimately headed? How often is it that we can free ourselves by crossing the metaphorical mountainous window frame, where losing all external feedback that we’re moving in the right direction, just to keep going, keep going, and then we ultimately do find our freedom?
If you were to walk a labyrinth, you would ultimately find your way to the center. However, at some point as you walk the path, you may be literally one foot from the goal at the center, yet in order to reach the goal and honor the path of the labyrinth, you have to walk all the way back out to the edge again before reaching your goal.
Our minds are remarkably linear in their thinking, often painfully so. So perhaps when you get stuck you can find a way to ask yourself how you can fly in the opposite direction? Perhaps you can consider the possibilities of continuing to travel over the barrier of the metaphorical window frame? What if the barrier is not a limitation, but rather another piece of the landscape for you to cross to reach your true freedom?