Standing On The Curb

by Ross Bishop

There you stand. Things haven’t gone as you had hoped, so you don’t want to turn back, because that just means more of the same. Yet taking that step into the street gives you pause. It means stepping into the traffic where you might get run over. Remaining on the sidewalk is unsatisfactory, but it’s familiar. The cars are very powerful and they don’t care who you are, they’ll run over anyone. You feel a bit lost and alone.

The street is different than the sidewalk, the rules are different, unfamiliar. If you mess up, the consequences could be severe. But there are mosquitos on this side of the road. And they harass and bite you. You could stay where you are, but it’s going to be uncomfortable.

You tried to cross the street when you were a child and were severely rebuffed. You were told that the street was a scary place, filled with cars and potholes and pain. Mom and dad made sure you realized the consequences of going there. They hadn’t crossed the street either. It was too scary for them.

Those memories are with you today. And so you retreat back into your safe and secure sandbox, comforted by its familiar boundaries and harmless play.

And yet, there is this force, this urging, pushing you out of your complacency. After all, the sandbox was fine for a child, but as an adult it is rather confining. And how long can you go on making sand castles, anyway? The voice urges you to leave the comfort of the sandbox and cross the street. How do you know this voice is real? How can you trust it? After all, you cannot “understand” it! You must learn to trust your heart. It knows.

Eventually after interminable delays and a couple of feeble attempts to cross on your own, you raise your gaze and realize that someone has already provided a way across the road. There exists a way, a crossing. All you have to do is push the button and the cars will stop.

But what if you don’t have permission? Other kids crossed with their parents, but you are alone. What if you screw it up? What if you are found to be unworthy?

When you look into it, you find that the signal button doesn’t care who pushes it. It works for everyone. Others use the intersection to cross, why not you? After all, you are as worthy as they are, and that signals a fundamental change in your belief. . .

You must be willing to push the button, but when you do, everything changes. The busy intersection changes into a zone of relative safety where the cars allow people to cross.

Even with the signal in your favor, it still takes courage to step into the street. But reinforced with the knowledge that others do it, still scared, you step boldly into the unknown.

When you get the other side you look back and realize that crossing the road, which seemed so challenging before, really wasn’t such big deal after all. Except that everything has changed . . . And then you realize, it wasn’t about getting across the street, it was the journey.

copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2016

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