I want you to imagine a baby elephant at a circus. Got it? Okay.
When a new baby elephant is brought into the circus, it has a heavy iron shackle attached to its leg, and that shackle is attached by a chain to a long iron peg that is driven deep into the ground. For a time, our baby will pull and strain to the point of injuring itself to get free. Then, with the help of the trainer’s crop, it will learn that it is hopeless to fight. Hope will be driven out. Our poor baby elephant is a captive.
Our baby elephant will learn the lesson so well that when it is grown, it will not even need to be shackled. A simple rope with a short wooden peg in the ground will be sufficient to keep it captive. That baby will have grown up into a massive, powerful beast, but it will still be held captive not truly by a flimsy rope and a peg, but by its own belief that it is trapped. It is held captive by its own belief that it is still weak and small. It is held captive by its own lack of hope.
Then, something might happen. Lots of things can trigger it, but there may come a day for our elephant that it realizes that it is not small or weak. It will realize that it can no longer can be held by a rope and peg. It cannot even be held by a shackle and chain. And our baby, now massive and powerful, certainly cannot be stayed by the trainer’s measly crop anymore.
This realization of freedom is a dangerous time for our elephant. When that shackled strength is loosed, the captive can turn on its captor. Years of being held can spark a rage in our elephant that will be hard to deny.
Here’s what is important for our elephant to know. Elephant, you are free. Free. There is no more shackle. No more chain. That trainer’s crop can’t hurt you. You are big and powerful and can’t be hurt anymore. That is, unless, Baby, you decide to be a captive of your own anger and rage. The shackle is gone, Baby, and you are FREE to walk away and be rid of your chains. Or, sweet Baby, you can choose a new set of chains: you can choose to stay at the circus of your own anger and hurt. You can be your own main event. Don’t mistake this for freedom, Baby Elephant.
You are free, you big, strong Baby Elephant. Walk away from the circus. Choose freedom. Choose hope.