I suppose you are familiar with terms like “Unleash your true potential”, “Awaken the Giant Within”, by Anthony Robbins, and many other similar ones. Have you ever stopped to think about who leashed you in the first place?
The illustration of the mighty elephant being held to one spot by a frail stake in the ground is quite well known. When the elephant is young, that frail stake is good enough to hold her to one spot. As the elephant grows, however, she actually becomes strong enough to jerk that frail stake out of the ground without giving it so much as a second thought. Why does that huge, powerful creature not do it? Conditioning, force of habit, or because it’s content to stay where it is due to the abundance of food, water, companionship and its relationship to its trainers? Now, whether or not this is true I have no idea, but it makes for a good illustration about the way the human psyche works. I think the elephant stays where it is because of its good relationships with its handlers. In much the same way, that’s how they train killer whales at Seaworld, Orlando, as Ken Blanchard has shown in the “Whale Done” videos. When my family was in Thailand in 2001, we had the privilege of staying with our friends who happened to run a small dairy farm at the time. Now, looking at dairy cows, you wouldn’t believe that they would be possessed of any sort of athletic prowess. This is not true at all! One day, we came back to the farm and my friend saw that a few of the cows had gotten into the protein and vitamin pellets, and were having a swell time for themselves. Since having too much of a good thing would actually be bad for them, he brought the truck to a screeching halt, leaped out of the cab and ran to get the cows back into their enclosure. Now, the cows were actually in the storage area for the grain and supplements, and the gate, which was almost as tall as I was, happened, mysteriously, to be shut. Those heavy-set cows actually just turned and jumped the gate with no running distance, without batting an eyelid, and without so much as a by-your-leave! So much for first impressions! Now that nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon starts to make a bit more sense!
Are you being leashed because of your good relationship with the baggage of your past? That’s being tied down by your thoughts and by your emotions. Set yourself free. Establish new, positive relationships with more ennobling goals, with people who are better than yourself, and with your God. Why let a frail twig hold you back? End dysfunctional relationships if you can’t restore them. Develop positive ones, either new or for those that are existing and willing.