By Dawn Onley
In the picture, the horse is tied to a plastic, outdoor chair, under the caption: “Sometimes the chains that prevent us from being free are more mental than physical.”
We’re just like that horse. We are bound to imaginary limitations which impede us from breaking the mental shackles that still exist from a different time and place. When we think we can’t, we are summoning old defeats. When we don’t even bother trying, we are steeped in our previous failures.
This is all mental. This has no bearing on today’s reality. The things that keep us grounded are all rooted in the past.
But here’s the thing: Our realities are malleable. Just like the potter who molds the clay, we don’t have to stay in the same shape that we were once in. We can stretch and bend. We have elasticity. We can reconfigure and readjust.
We can improve our realities.
I’ll bet many of us can point to things that threatened our start. But those things shouldn’t get to determine how we finish. We determine this. The teenage mom who is pushing her way through high school? The ex-con who is learning a trade to become marketable? The lady diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes who is eating healthier and exercising? They are all viewing their reality as clay. They were each presented with hurdles that – if given a defeatist mindset — would have hindered their futures. But they refused to accept their old realities. They fought back.
It’s not how we were raised, and what we weren’t taught. It’s not whether our dads were around or whether we get along with our siblings.
Later on in life, it doesn’t really matter how we grew up. Sure, our childhoods play a role in shaping who we are today, that is undeniable. In terms of what direction we head in now as adults, how we grew up is of little consequence.
No one asks you at 40, whether you had enough food to eat when you were 10.
Stories of overcoming obstacles are commonplace with successful people. There are many people who have turned dismal realities into hopeful ones. We can choose to have a happy ending.
If we want different realities, we need to mold our clay.