Pattern Breaking and 20 Seconds of Courage
My prayer of surrender on a cold and lonely January morning included a potent question,
“What is in the way, God?”
The words to a Doobie Brothers song kept repeating in my head, and it was remarkable because it felt fresh and true,
“Hey, where you gonna go girl, where you gonna hide? You go leaving out your heart..
~It Keeps You Running, The Doobie Brothers
I had just moved to Kansas City, Missouri, the Heartland of America. For the next six years, layers and layers of defense and reactive patterns of behavior became conscious, and I began to make choices that empowered me. That was possible because I knew what real love felt like, and I wanted to stay in its resonance.
But, I had to feel some pain. Buried deep in my being were the imprints of unexpressed fear and rage and pain, because I was unable to deal with the trauma, when it happened. When I became sober, it was humbling to realize that a 45-year-old woman could still be behaving like a needy little child, but I did. And, I didn’t want to behave that way anymore because I didn’t like how it felt.
The courage that I needed, was to believe that I could get what I wanted in a new way. That had everything to do with getting clear, and lining up with the energy, or love. The love did the work, and it always brought me a miracle.
I saw the movie We Bought a Zoo this week, and loved it. Matt Damon is a heartbroken father of two adorable kids and he is freaking out trying to live without his wife and mother, who recently died. Everything is falling apart; his son is stealing and gets kicked out of school, he quits his writing job, and he knows something has to change. So, he bought an old house on a huge piece of land, that contained a zoo. The zoo was falling apart, and the animals were on the verge of being put down.
See the movie, if you want to know what courage looks like. He put everything he had into this impossible venture. His brother once told him, “All you need is 20 seconds worth of courage.”
When the zoo passed inspection, it rained for weeks, and couldn’t open. When the sun finally came out, everyone was ready to work, and waited for the customers. At 10:02, no one was there and Matt Damon began to wonder if anyone would come at all. His son knew something was wrong, and ran down the road to see where the people might be. He was right, a huge tree had blown over the road and blocked the multitudes of people, eager and waiting, to enter the park.
So what is it about 20 seconds of courage? Well, it feels like that just might be long enough to break a sabotaging pattern. It’s part magic, and part physics. You refuse to back down, despite all evidence to the contrary, because your wish conceived in love , with be birthed by it too.
There is a saying in recovery circles,
Don’t quit 5 seconds before the miracle happens.
I know it is true. I also know that God doesn’t withhold anything. Something we cannot see with our own eyes, is often in the way.
Emotional pain passes, as long as we have the courage to feel it, and let it break us open to receive the greater experience.