I used to love the feeling of my blanket. It kept me warm and made me feel safe - especially during the storms at night. I used to think: if only I could live life under a blanket, surely I will always feel this safe; I will always feel this warm.
And so I did. Over time, I got used to my blanket and it looked good, too. It had a pattern that looked a lot like others and didn’t stand-out. Sometimes, when I looked at other people’s blanket, it even looked exactly the same.
Little by little, people wrote on my blanket. They wrote things like: “work hard and be successful”; “Do your homework and don’t make mistakes”; “Keep your head-up”; “Don’t cause shame on your family or trouble to other people”; “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”... And over time, my blanket was full of words, pictures, and colors - just like so many other people’s blankets. It had been scribbled-on by caretakers and teachers. Sometimes I would write things that I saw, or ate. Other children would sometimes write on my blanket and even my parents and grandparents, not realizing then that all of them were doing the best they could on their own journey in life (I know that now).
But over time and little by little, I noticed the blanket got heavier - especially when it rained. Still, I thought it was “right” to always carry my blanket. When I eventually was old enough to work, I still stayed under my blanket. I did my best to please my parents, my boss, co-workers, other people and I eventually got something in return: money and apparent success.
Over more time and much to my surprise, I met someone else under that blanket and we fell in-love.
But the reality was, the blanket felt even heavier. Along came 2 wonderful children who joined us under this blanket. Now, with a family and mortgage to pay, bills and work, I started to wonder about the blanket.
Was it time to take it off?
Could I take a peak?
Was it even possible to take it off?
Should I take it off?
I started talking to people:
“No”, yelled my boss. “You’ll never find another job outside the blanket”.
“No”, yelled my parents-in-law. “You’ve got to keep making money to be happy”.
Reality of it was, I wasn’t happy! I had a house, 2 cars, a wonderful family and all the things I was told would make me happy, but I just couldn’t escape this feeling any more. “Then what?”, I began to ask.
One day, I took all my courage, despite all the ill-advice, I decided to take a peak one day, and looked out.
It felt amazing - a weight off my shoulders - oh even so briefly. I was amazed…. but still too frightened to stay there so I crept back underneath my blanket, once more.
At times I would conjure all my courage to try again. Though the fear was great, I learned something important… patience. I learned that each time I took a peak, I stayed and stared a little longer, until at one point I realized something.
So I questioned if after all this time, was the blanket a false illusion of warmth and safety? Did someone introduce this blanket for what reason? I don’t remember being born with it. I had it after I was born, right? Someone gave it to me, perhaps?
Perhaps so many of us are so used to it that we have forgotten that the real me is actually living underneath it...cocooned, covered perhaps? When did it become... our skin?
Then I thought to wash the blanket. All the scribbles, all the words could be washed off and I could start a new definition of…me! No - it is not enough. It still wouldn’t be real.
If only there is a way to rid the blanket forever! Yes, it must be removed. We can all remove our blankets if only we can remember that it is actually there. And all this time, I realized that I had forgotten that it was there.
And so every day, little-by-little, I chose to remove the blanket, unveiling parts of myself I didn’t even realize existed. It wasn’t easy, because every time I removed it, it felt unnatural, testing, incredibly difficult, that is until now.
Here’s what I realized: Many of us will not notice the blanket until we have passed-on in this life. Even if we do realize, many of us still won’t remove it.
Dare to remove it - it will be too bright…perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will see something very unfamiliar… perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will be exposed for who you really are…perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will be cold and get hurt…perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will be alone…perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will be laughed at...perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will be criticized…perhaps.
Dare to remove it - you will not be accepted by others…perhaps.
Dare to go back and replace the “peharps”, with “so what!”. Read it again because if you want to live a life without the blanket, it’s going to take courage, and I mean a lot of courage. It’s going to take humor. It’s going to take strength, but most of all, it’s going to be a battle and love needs to be the sole outcome.
Dare to remove it - you will feel that the weight that was holding you down has gone. That life is both peaceful and exciting. That now nothing works they way it does under the blanket. There are no more rules. There are no more lies. There are no more limits. You have an overwhelming feeling of joy and empathy for all the other blankets you see. Most of all, you realize that what you thought love was, is not at all love. And that all along the person you needed to love the most, was you - the you without the blanket.
Some of us will go through life without removing the blanket at all. Some of us will remove only a portion of it. Some of us will remove it and put it back over us again. Some of us will remove it, and then others throw it back over us again. It still happens to me. It’s just that I’ve become a little better at taking it off again and for longer periods, but I’m almost there! And in doing so I have met a wonderful person: me. Because when I am there, the feeling cannot be described with words of any language.
Whichever you choose, or are faced with, you can choose to live life with or without the blanket. The greatest gift to this world is on the other side of that blanket. That gift, is you and you have a life-time to find it…to find you.
DON’T MISS YOURSELF!!!
Love, peace, respect (not expect),