When we moved into our house four years ago, we hired a company to install an underground invisible fence in our yard. We wanted to keep our beloved GoldenDoodle, Dakota, safe from cars on the road and we wanted to keep our neighbors’ yards safe from Doodle doody.
We put a special collar on Dakota and walked her slowly and gently around the yard, demonstrating where she could and couldn’t venture. She’s a smart dog and got the gist of the game in less than an hour.
Four years later, when she’s wearing her special collar, she knows she can’t leave the yard. Not even if a super exciting squirrel is provoking her from a forbidden tree. She’ll stand there and bark, but she won’t leave our yard.
But here’s the thing, the fence is broken. It hasn’t worked in about two years and I’m too cheap to get it fixed, because Dakota doesn’t know it’s broken.
When we put on her special collar, she still believes she will get hurt if she goes beyond the boundary.
I’m wondering if you have an invisible fence in your yard. Not your real yard, but the yard in your mind. Is there something someone once told you you couldn’t do and now you blindly believe them?
Maybe that person told you “no” to keep you safe, or because it was best for them or because they were flat out mean. There are lots of reasons people set up fences for us.
I had an art teacher in third grade who returned my brilliant watercolor with a big red C at the top. Now, more than 30 years later, I still believe I’m terrible at anything artistic. I don’t even try anymore. It’s my invisible fence.
Friend, the fence is turned off. It’s broken. If there is something you’ve always wanted to try, go for it. The space beyond the yard is wide open and it’s waiting for you to frolick.
I think I’ll pull out my colored pencils today and create something magnificent. How about you?
Megan Murphy lives with open hands. Instead of clenching her fingers around her stuff, her ideas, her time, she greets people palms up, freely giving what she can to help another along the path of life.
Isn’t that a beautiful way of living?
Certainly there are rocks along Megan’s path, but most of them are colorful and filled with inspiring messages of affirmation. And many of them were made by Megan.
Megan is the creator of The Kindness Rocks Project which started as a slow walk along the beach and swelled into a movement that is rocking our little world.
Megan talks with me in Episode 28 of The Kindness Podcast about the advice she got from Oprah and how we too can live with hands wide open.
One message at just the right moment can change everything. Click here for inspiration to create your own rocks.
I was getting out of the shower the other morning when a sharp little pain shot through my right breast. For anyone keeping track, my right breast is the healthy one. It’s the left breast that was removed three years ago after a cancer diagnosis.
The towel caught my skin wrong and I flinched. My mind immediately filled with one thought: What if it’s cancer?
People have indeed discovered diseases after an abnormal pain, but I knew even in my moment of mini-panic I was overreacting.
How I went from a slight twinge to another cancer diagnosis is beyond me, but ask any other survivor and they’ll tell you they do it too. I have yet to meet someone who has had cancer of any kind who doesn’t occasionally wonder if it will come back.
I stood in front of my mirror for a moment while my mind wandered. Cancer… What if…
What do you do with your what ifs?
Do you hold onto them and breathe life into them, allowing those two little words to grow and expand until they overtake your whole brain?
I’ve done that more times than I care to admit.
I knew I had the option of inviting this black cloud to follow me around for the rest of the day… but I knew I also had the choice to speak back to the fear.
That’s what “what ifs” really are you know. Fear disguised as problem solving.
I grabbed some clothes from my closet and replaced the “What if” with “If what.”
Instead of thinking “What if it’s cancer?” I silently prayed, “If what I’m imagining ever comes true, God thank you for helping me handle it gracefully.”
I immediately felt a peace and an ability to move on with my day. I knew I didn’t have to hold onto that what if. And guess what? There’s good news. Neither do you.