As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds, but for some reason, they did not. He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
I often wonder how many of us are like this in the world? How many of us tend to go through life hanging onto to a belief that we can’t do something, simply because of the conditions we were brought up with?
In my case, my parents were alcoholics who never found healing from their addiction. When I became an alcoholic at the age of 17, I thought I’d never find healing from the addiction either. But through the grace of God and 12 Step recovery, I was able to break the rope tied around my leg that always said I’d never achieve sobriety and thankfully, 22 years later, I’m still free from that rope.
That’s only one of many ropes that have been tied around my leg in this life which kept me a prisoner of sorts. Through God’s grace though, I continue to break free from them one by one, trudging forward on my spiritual journey, becoming ever lighter from the bondage I was born into and raised with.
Currently, the biggest rope I seem to be dealing with is the one that surrounds a belief that all this physical and mental pain I’m going through will never going away and that the only solutions I have in life are either to take drugs to numb it or hope for an imminent death. I’m choosing to believe otherwise and have been working with God to break this rope that has felt stronger than all the others I’ve ever faced. Truly, it’s one that was placed upon me long ago that said the only answer in life when sick is to have someone or something else fix me. I know that’s an illusion and that the Spirit within me will eventually guide me into a much better state of health. And when it does, I’ll be free from a rope that has dug into my leg for far too long.
Nevertheless, I don’t believe there’s any rope that’s tied around my leg that can’t be broken, as it just takes some work, a little faith and courage, and a bit of God’s grace to make it happen. I think I’m living proof of that and you can be too…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson