Seeing Clearly

Every day I walked in, I noted them. They were impossible to miss and yet I couldn’t do anything about it; the office windows. They were dingy, dirty, and covered with a greyish film consisting of years of dirt, rain, pollution, salt spray and whatever else floated by and stuck. The large windows provided much needed light but the dirtiness muted the light, the view, and the mood.

Then it happened….. I heard the beeping and saw the cherry picker raise up, bringing a crew of window cleaners. In about 10 minutes, they cleaned the entire span of windows; years and years of dirt and grime gone in just 10 minutes.

Wow, I what a difference!! I just stood there soaking it all in. Gone was all the years of dirt, dinge, and just ick. I had forgotten what it was like to have a clear view. The deep blue sky, dotted with white clouds actually looked inviting. The distractions we had grown accustomed too, were now gone. The natural daylight fills the office unfettered, making it bright and cheery. The mood instantly is better.

At times my life can be like those dirty, dingy windows. Things are going along, then something happens. Some dirt gets stuck if you will. Then more dirt sticks to it and soon, my vision is cloudy. For whatever reason, I do not, will not, or cannot address whatever the “dirt” is. Maybe the dirt is fear; fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being judged. Maybe the dirt is pain, emotional or physical, or both. Could be anything, but I don’t like it and I know it, but “I’ll change it later”. Day after day goes by. Days turn into months, months into years and the dirt is still there. By this time, I’m used to the dirt, have accepted it as normal and have totally forgotten what its like to see clearly. I lose the clear vision.

Then it happens; an unexpected, but much needed change occurs. Someone or something appears at the perfect time and all that old “dirt” is cleared. Wow!! I can’t believe how much dirt there was and how much clearer things are. I am glad the dirt is gone, but at the same time, I am grateful for it because now I truly appreciate being able to see clearly. What a blessing it is to have the distractions removed, to see the light brightly and to see clearly.

Face the Fear and Launch Again

This story came to me as I was driving up to Kennedy Space Center to watch Endeavour’s final ferry flight to California. Still inspiring us one more time……

After tragedy occurs, whether it be life, relationships, jobs, etc. there’s always comes the time when you get the opportunity to do it again. As you step up there is that fear, that tentativeness that almost takes your breath away. That, Oh My God, am I ready to do this, have I figured out everything I did wrong last time? Am I going to get it right this time?

We don’t like to make mistakes and we really don’t like to make the same mistakes twice. Whenever we have the opportunity to do it again, all the questions, all the fears surface….yet there is that excitement of the chance to give it another shot.

After the Columbia tragedy, the next shuttle, Discovery, was tasked with a tremendous role.  In addition to millions of pounds of supplies for the space station, it carried the hopes of an entire nation. As it sat on the launch pad, all those fears of the unknown were still there. In spite of all the checks, the tests, the quadruple checks, there was still that fear of the unknown.  Did we miss anything? Did we account for all the possibilities?

There was plenty of fear to keep it grounded, but the destination was worth facing the fear. Much like our life; they had to go forward and give it another shot. When Discovery landed safely, it was an affirmation that Yea, we can do this.

We all face tragedy in our lives and there is always plenty of fear to keep us safe in the hangar of life. It’s safer in there because there’s no risk. If you don’t take any chances, you won’t feel any pain. I know I don’t like pain. Yet, it’s the facing that same situation again, taking the chance to get it right,  and being successful is what makes grow. Sometimes its really hard to overcome those fears, but it’s worth it.

Lifting off that launching pad again will be scary but when you nail the landing, you realize that did it. You faced the fear, you overcame and you carry on. That is what it’s all about…