While visiting my sister Jean last week, she reminded me of “the moth game” that we’d play during the hot August evenings in our youth. We’d catch a moth flying around the porch light, and put it in a large glass jar. We’d turn the jar upside down and hold it up toward the porch light, and the moth would bang against the glass bottom of the jar, trying to get to the light. We’d then turn the jar right-side up, and sure enough – instantly the moth flew out, and was free to fly around the light once again.
What has become apparent to me, now that I’ve grown up, is that sometimes I don’t act much smarter than those moths. I’ll keep doing the same thing over and over again, even if it doesn’t give me the results that I’m looking for. For example: I’ll refuse to take an umbrella with me, while walking around the pond (even though it’s threatening to rain). More than once I’ve gotten soaked. Do you think I’ve learned my lesson? NOPE! I still live in that jar, whacking my head against the invisible glass – insisting it won’t rain even though the clouds are dark and the wind is gusting.
When I was in elementary school, I was convinced that I was a bad speller, and, I proved it by getting poor grades in spelling. I’d placed myself in a glass jar, labeled: “I’m a bad speller.” When I got into high school, I remember Ms. Golden (my freshman year English teacher) telling me that it was all in my mind. She said, “There’s no such thing as a bad spelling gene.” Wow, that was an eye-opener. I immediately turned that jar right-side up and flew out. I’m a good speller, now.
What negative belief has placed you in a glass jar? What belief has you banging against an invisible glass wall? Just now, it came to me that there was a time when I believed that one had to be born under a lucky star or born into a wealthy family if he was to succeed in life, and enjoy life’s many riches. Wow, I’m glad I turned that jar right-side up.
The metaphor of being trapped in a glass jar is particularly helpful to me – there is so much more to experience in life outside of these jars. Have you noticed all of the aliveness that goes on outside of the jars in which you live?
The moth is programmed to let nature take care of it’s evolution from egg to caterpillar to cocoon to a fully functioning, flying being. It isn’t equipped to handle glass jar dilemmas. You are programmed to handle anything. You are responsible for your personal evolution. Remember that the next time you feel like you are banging your head against an invisible glass wall.