My four-footed companion and I walked underneath a dark sky which was slowly giving way to purpling hues when she decided it was time to give chase. A fallen leaf had caught her attention, demanding she chase after it full speed ahead. She wasn’t too fussed about the fact that she had a much slower and heavier anchor (aka me) in tow. The leaf had to be caught.
We failed at that. Mostly because her anchor wouldn’t let her go where the leaf went. And she voiced her disapproval at her anchor. She also tried to cut free from the anchor with those sharp little teeth of hers. Sadly the line held and the anchor remained firmly attached to the leash which was attached to her.
I seem to recall moments like this in my life too, when I would be all set to go out and after something only to be held back by my own anchor. The anchor changed from time to time, but the effect of an anchor was always present. Sometimes it was my mother preventing me from getting to the edge of a structure. Her fear of heights kept her firmly grounded and acted as an anchor many times in my life. Sometimes the anchor was my father taking away the car keys which prevented me from heading off to wherever it was I felt I needed to go in a hurry. Sometimes it was other people in my life who acted as an anchor, often keeping me safe when I would have gladly taken a risk without understanding how things could go so wrong.
And more than I’d like to admit, sometimes that anchor is my own fears or doubts. Fear is probably the heaviest anchor I have in my life and it does a fantastic job at preventing me from drifting far from my comfort zone. Unfortunately far from my comfort zone may be exactly where I need to drift to, in order to make changes. Doubt is a funny anchor, it sometimes ways me down beyond belief and other times seems more buoyant than it should be.
After the four-footed wonder and I could no longer follow a leaf, she settled down to her normal half walk, half run phase in life until she saw the bunny. The bunny demanded to be chased. And as her anchor I could have acted like fear and kept her weighed down, or I could act like doubt and give her a little buoyancy so she could run a bit after the bunny.
I chose to be doubt, because I doubted she could catch the bunny. And because frankly no one wants to be held back all the time due to how another person thinks, feels or believes.
We didn’t catch the bunny. I’m not so certain that if she weren’t on a leash she couldn’t catch the bunny. But I did begin to wonder if chasing the bunny was the right thing to do? Sure in nature the bunny has predators. I just dont’ see my four-footed companion fitting into that role. Besides all that running, well too much of it and in a state of fear, cannot be good for Mr. Bunny’s heart can it? So we stopped. Not out of fear. Not on my part. We stopped because I decided it was time to stop and because frankly I was getting tired of all this great leaping and bounding after the bunny. For the record, my leaps and bounds were anything but great. Come to think of it, the bunny probably stopped a few times not to catch his breath or settle his racing heart so much as to laugh at me.