Tag Archives: Popsicle

Opening the door.

28 Mar

When my son was about a year old, I sat him in his highchair and gave him his first popsicle.  He grabbed it from my hand grasping the frozen top instead of the handle and immediately stuck it in his mouth.  He loved it!  However, his hand was gripping the icy popsicle itself instead of the wooden handle.  I tried to pry his fingers off to move them down but he would not let go.  Quickly he began to cry because his fingers were freezing and were beginning to hurt, but he kept putting the popsicle in his mouth through all the tears, and had no way of knowing what the problem was.  I kept trying to loosen his grip but he thought I was taking his delicious treat away from him and he held on even tighter, continuing to cry and scream because his hand was hurting.  It took a few minutes but I was finally able to tug the popsicle from his iron grip, at which point he shrieked, tears pouring down his face.  I gently put the stick into his hand and finally he realized he could eat his treat without pain – finally holding it in the right place!  It was a very tense and comical situation while all of this was going on – me trying to comfort him while taking his hands off his prize, and him screaming because he wanted the popsicle and his hand was freezing.

I have never forgotten this experience.  Why?  Because there have been times in my life where I, too, have been holding onto the popsicle, screaming in pain, but refusing to let go.  Let me explain.

Sometimes we get to a place in our lives where we want something very badly.  We really want it.  We want it with all our hearts – but – there is something else holding us back from getting it.  Not necessarily something on the outside, but often something inside of us.  We have been hurt before so we are afraid to go forward.  We are unsure because it’s new territory and we don’t know how it will go, so we hesitate.  We aren’t positive we can handle the thing we want so badly.  We think we can but we aren’t completely sure.

So we get to the door, we go all the way up to it, it’s right there, that last step we need to take to move forward.  Our hand is on the knob, we can feel the tension, we are right there, but we can’t open it.  We want to, really want to, but if we open it everything will change.  We would have to let go of all our fears, all our insecurities about the decision and just go for it.  That takes determination, and it takes courage.  We really don’t know what will happen if we open the door.  We think it’ll be great.  We really want to do this, but we stop.  We are holding onto the popsicle too tightly. We don’t want to lose what we have, even if what we can gain is so much better.  We can’t let go.

Life is complex.  We go through so many changes, we travel so many different roads, we experience so many things.  We get hurt, we get happy, we get disappointed, we get relief, we cover the whole gamut of human emotional experiences.  And each one of them leaves a track – not always a scar – but definitely a track because we’ve traveled through it. Sometimes those experiences cause us to hesitate because they were painful and hard to overcome.  Some of them we have not overcome yet, and when we think of them they still hurt.  And so, the hesitation.

It’s a gamble.  There are no guarantees.  Everything is up for grabs.  We never know if things will go the way we think they will, the way we hope they will, or even they way we want them to.  But, if we don’t try, if we don’t ever open the door to the new experiences, we will never know.  We will stay in exactly the same situation we are in now, and never get to find out how it could have been.  The other side of the door holds new challenges, new opportunities, new decisions, and may offer new happiness.  It may also offer new sadness, but we won’t know if we never open it.  Getting close doesn’t really count for anything in the end.  Getting right up to the door doesn’t change anything.  We have to open it and walk through it.

Every day I hear people complain because their lives aren’t what they hoped they would be.  They aren’t living the life they really want and they are unhappy.  But the truth is that we all have the power to change our lives, we all have the power to try new things to be happy, every day.  But in order to do that, we have to let go of the popsicle.  We have to let go of the things that are holding us back, and we have to open the new door.   Will it be scary – probably.  Will it be unnerving – maybe.  Can we do it?  Absolutely.

What are you holding onto that is holding you back?  What are you afraid of?  What doors are waiting for you to open?  Walk up to them.  Put your hand on the knob, let go of the popsicle, shake it off, and open the door.  Take the chance.  Be brave – don’t look back, look forward.  It’s waiting for you.