The Freedom Fly

So I was in the bathroom yesterday morning, minding my own business...
changing the toilet paper as is often my job.
As I was putting the new roll on, I decided to open the window right above it. I discovered that a fly had been caught between the glass and the screen all night long.
Thinking that any minute that fly was going to realize that I was his ticket to freedom and fly outta there. I quickly slammed the window down so he couldn't escape. (I know, cruel)
(and yes, I just assume it's a "he"...who really knows anyway)
After feeling trappers remorse, I decided to give him his freedom.
After all, if I was the fly, that's what I would want.
So I opened the window and prepared for him to scramble.
The fly was literally sitting on the edge of the screen frame,
with two front legs up on the screen looking outside.
After not moving for a few minutes I thought he might be dead.
After waving my hand around (yes, I admit I was fascinated),
he started moving slowly- you know- doing the leg over head thing.
I thought by the time I came back from the other room he'd be gone.
He wasn't gone. He went back to his original position, looking outside.
Sure enough, after a bit longer the poor thing was dead.
He died sitting on the edge of freedom. Legs up on the screen. Looking out.
Now, you might think I'm strange (affirmative),
but I see life lessons everywhere I look.
It's a blessing and a curse.
So it got me thinking, how much of ourselves do we let die 
while we sit on the edge of freedom, but refusing to move?
  • We wish for things to be different.
  • We grumble about wanting things to be the way they "used to be."
  • We watch from a distance but refuse to get involved.
  • We harbor resentment and bitterness.
  • We want something different, but resist change.
  • We let our fear hold us back from making a bold move.
  • We want freedom from a behavior, without the work that is required.
  • We want freedom without giving up any control.
We sit there with our hands gripping the screen that's holding us captive,
only to miss the fact that there is an escape route in plain sight.
We don't see the way out because we're only willing to look
at the barrier instead of the solution. 
Don't be like the fly.
See the barrier for what it is.
Then seek out- and embrace- the solution.
Work at it.
Find freedom.

19.8.13 that's a fun word.

We hear that word all the time.
In a T.V. show.
In church.
In our town.
Community groups, community committees, community events...whatever.

But do we really know what that means?
Do we really live our definition of it?

It's a fun word. Community.
It can conjure up positive feelings...and other feelings.

Here are a few things that come to mind when
I think about what real community means to me:
Sticking up for each other.
Being brave enough to protect...yet open enough for difficult conversations.
Being there for each other.
Showing up. Doing life. Remembering that the street goes both ways.
Being authentic.
Allowing others to NOT be like you... and loving them anyway.
I appreciate you, you appreciate me- just the way we are.
Watching our tongues.
Doing away with gossip and malice. Not everything we think has to be said.
Being willing to do our part.
This means sharing the load. While not everyone is comfortable being a leader, 
everyone can do their part to make the load easier on everyone.
Speaking up.
Having the courage to speak up against wrong and promote the right,
while keeping an open mind for honest dialogue with those who may disagree.
Mutual respect.
Everyone must find their own path. And that path is not ours to judge.
Service isn't just for the people with energy, the young or the retired. It's for all.
We don't exist to be served, but to serve together.

Giving props where props are due.
This means allowing others to do what they do well, let them know and support their efforts. This includes trying to open a small business, creative efforts, problem solving skills- reaching for the stars in a new way.
Everyone is created with unique talents...
building others up only builds our community up.

What would you add to the list?