Stand Still

#inspiration, protection, nature, rabbitI turned the corner onto my street and saw one of our neighbourhood jackrabbits hopping across the road. When it heard my car approaching, the rabbit stopped right where it was – in the middle of the road. It held perfectly still as I slowly drove past.

Often I see one of these rabbits in my yard and instead of hopping away when I come close, it will freeze in position, as if to blend into the surroundings and become invisible. Some places are easier to blend into than others.

What is interesting to me is the rabbits hold still when they haven’t done anything wrong but if I come outside and see one doing something destructive in my garden it sure hops off in a hurry. I guess it all depends if it thinks I’ve seen it or not.

I didn’t see the rabbits eating my tulips this year, but the fact only one matured enough to flower gives me the impression the others became tasty meals.

My husband was wondering aloud one day about a sparse patch on our front lawn. He had re-seeded that area but hadn’t seen any new growth. “Maybe the birds ate the seeds,” he said. A few days later he looked outside early in the morning and saw two rabbits happily munching away in this area. It turns out they were eating the tender new shoots of grass before they matured enough for us to see them. Mystery solved!

To be fair, blending in with the surroundings can be an effective survival tactic. If the rabbit can’t be seen, there will be no danger of harm.

Although this may be useful for animals, the behaviour doesn’t work the same way for people. How do I know this for certain; because I’ve tried it?

Someone once told me she had observed me making myself invisible when I was out of my comfort zone. I was like the rabbit on the road. I thought no one could see me but I was wrong.

My desire is to feel like I belong, that I’m part of what is going on. When it feels like this is a bigger challenge than I can handle, I withdraw to protect myself from rejection. This makes me appear aloof and unapproachable. The result is I am not drawn into the group. Isn’t it ironic that I create the very situation I was afraid of?

 

This story was published in my book  Another Perspective.

Which Face Do You See?

Three young girls spent time with us recently. At some point during the day each did something silly and wanted their picture taken. Looking at the pictures later, I saw that each was a representation of the faces I show to the world.

Inspiration, facesMiss H. appeared before me in disguise. She wore a bright red wig, flashing glasses and other costume items. We laughed at how funny she looked but I was reminded of the times I’ve gone out of my way to hide who I was. In an attempt to mask my insecurity, I have disguised who I really am. This gets uncomfortable and can’t be maintained.

#inspiration, facesMiss S. said, “Look at me” as she sucked on a lemon. Although she made a face and removed it from her mouth, she soon put right back in there again. I wondered how often I look like I’ve been sucking on a lemon. Do I acknowledge what is unpleasant and then keep revisiting what it is that gives me a sour face?

#inspiration, faces, Miss K. was photographed smiling, dancing and being her joyful self. She was totally comfortable with who she was and radiated happiness. I aspire to me more like this; free to embrace life without concern of what others may be thinking.

So, which face do I show you? I can hide behind a disguise and not let you see who I really am. I can choose bitterness or I can look for the positive and choose happiness. Thanks to the visual my granddaughters expressed, the choice is obvious!

Face.— The silent echo of the heart. ~”Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words,” The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824

Hiding in Plain View

trust, God, inspirationWe were walking along the beach when my husband suddenly stopped and looked at the sand behind him. He pointed out a small crab. It was very still and blended well with the surroundings, making it difficult to see.

I commented on his good vision at spotting the crab. He said his foot had brushed it and he’d felt the scurry. He’d stopped so he could see what had caused this.

For the crab, being able to hide in plain view is a method of self-protection. This ability helps to keep it safe from predators.

I thought of how I have used this method of self-protection in my life. I’ve done this when I’ve been in uncomfortable situations or ones in which I feel threatened. At these times I withdraw and do my best to blend into the background. In effect I am attempting to make myself invisible to those around me.

The result is feelings of isolation. This is not what I want and is definitely not comfortable.

When I remember that my value does not come from others but from God I am much happier. I turn my focus to the fact that God knows me intimately and still loves me unconditionally. From him there is no hiding, nor does there ever need to be.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25 NIV

When I am afraid I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:3,4 NIV