Three dragonflies caught my attention recently. One was staring me in the face as I raised the bedroom shade to let in sunlight one morning, unable to move from its spread-eagle position, caught in a perfectly woven spider web against the screen. One landed on my husband’s pointer finger as he was holding our one-year old granddaughter. One stood atop an ornate wrought iron fence in the shade as I strolled by on a sunny July morning. “Write about me,” he said.
Dragonfly wings are translucent, so delicate, and vulnerable. Have you noticed? If these friendly insects are lucky enough to live out their short six-month lives–most die tragically young, caught by predators– their wings face the daily risk of damage, or of being caught in a hungry spider’s web. Luckily, some are still able to fly and catch food even if a wing is damaged or missing.
Our wings are delicate and vulnerable, too, or so we perceive them to be. We believe our ability to fly, to soar is damaged, hindered by our past, caught in the web of injustices and hurt, by flawed parents or an unenlightened society. Some of us, frozen with fear, flutter in the breeze as we choose to stay stuck in the gummy net of early childhood experiences.
But we are not physically stuck. That would be weird! We are mentally, emotionally, and/or psychologically stuck. I know! That seems worse in a way, doesn’t it? We point to our broken, tattered wings and blame others, giving away our power without realizing it. What do we gain from staying stuck? Perhaps an excuse not to face fears, not to feel grief or pain, not to grow and expand into the being we started out as. We choose instead to stay in our uncomfortable “comfort zone.”
A diamond doesn’t get to become a diamond by lying like a lump of coal, doing nothing, binge-watching Netflix, scrolling for hours on Facebook to see who ate what on which day and where. No. A diamond must endure a lot of pressure and come out of it strong enough to cut glass ceilings and become a reflector of light.
Break free of your past. It may have shaped you, but it does not define you. Obstacles were placed before you for a reason, so that you would rise up and share your knowledge with the world about overcoming adversity in what ever way feels best to you. “Take these broken wings and learn to fly,” wrote Paul McCartney. Learn to be a reflector of light.