Last week my friend Tammie shared a compliment that will stick with me until the end of my days. “You can find a way or a reason to be thankful for literally everything.” I chuckled as I typed my title for tonight… Maybe she’s right. 😉
Today I am thankful for my shackles. I’m thankful for all of the things, ideas, habits, beliefs, people, stuff, misguided dreams, and desires that I allow to hold me back from becoming the me I should really be. For clarity, yes, there are shackles, but it is up to me to free myself from them. More often than not I’ve created them myself.
Why am I thankful for my fetters today?
They help to shape me into who I should be. They build my strength as I struggle against them. Their rubbing and chafing on my skin reminds me that I have work to do. Seeing the life around me I am free to live if I release myself helps me realize what I truly want and what is most important to me.
Sometimes (& maybe more often than I care to admit) I find comfort in having their familiar bonds wrapping around me. In a twisted way I could find an easier life by succumbing to them and living with a victim mindset. There is no fear of failure when I can blame the shackles instead of my own lack of courage, my own lack of strength, and my own lack of grit. Each link in the chain is one more excuse I can utilize later when I don’t have the strength or desire to do the tough things I must to be the best version of me.
When I set myself to breaking the shackles each stretched and eventually broken link is a sign of progress. As I break free from one binding I’m sure to catch on the next, a sense of growth and movement. Though the sweat may flow, the blood may spurt out, and the tears will come as I struggle against them I feel more alive and in control than I have before. The pressing of my flesh against the metal brings the most beautiful of pain, I am taking action of my own free will and giving all of myself in the purpose of something better.
So today I’m thankful for my shackles. They can be beyond frustrating at times if I don’t choose the right mindset, but they can be an incredible gift for which I am most grateful when I choose to view them through the right lens. They strengthen me, test me, and help me become a better version of me.