A little bird flew into my office the other day and I spent the better part of an hour trying to rescue and get it safely out. The bird stopped frequently to rest on the light fixtures and chirp the sweet melody of “SOS”.
As it fluttered and flapped around, I tried to speak in a calm voice and gently lead it out of the door. But the beautiful bird kept flying up, towards the a-frame ceiling, constantly exhausting itself with this repetition.
I thought about that bird as the wings flapped helplessly, so many heartbeats used, so much energy spent. The bird repeated the pattern from its past, feeling danger and flying up towards the safety of the sky. Yet this day, the sky wasn’t there and flying up was no longer helping. What the bird needed to do was take a moment to look around at the situation at hand, and then it would find the open door that leads to freedom.
What do we hold on to as a way to find safety? A pattern of behavior we’ve used to escape a challenging situation and feel “protected”? Much like the bird, once we find a method to work for us, we stick to it and at some point miss the open door staring us in the face, because we are too busy looking up, for our normal route to security. And just like the bird, that door might be the one that leads us onto our path of happiness, freedom and life itself.
The little birdie spent a period of time flying against a closed window, eventually just sitting and staring out at the trees. Admiring the view with the bird I thought of the many windows I’ve looked longingly through in the past. Windows into others’ lives, the trees looking so green and inviting. “This is my path,” I thought as I continuously tried to fit through the window, only to smash into glass each time until I rested—weary from trying to fit myself through a window of this portrayed life path. It never works, and sometimes we hold onto that “window image” for so long that we just settle into that room, and start to build a life there that resembles the window display, completely unaware of the wide open door that would take us in the direction of complete fulfillment and self-expression.
Finally, the bird appeared to have exhausted itself to the point I could reach out and take it in my gentle hands to bring it outside. The bird shuddered with fear as my hands enveloped its body. Yet it was a short-lived fear followed by immense joy as the bird flapped its wings finally in the sunlight and sang a quick song as it flew on to its destined future, and ultimately a death that respects the life lived.
“Look around and listen with intent. With bright eyes and an open heart you will receive your life’s call.”