I was walking this morning, listening to a podcast. The host of Armchair Expert, Dax, told a story about an elephant. He went to the zoo and was watching the trainer scrub down the elephant. To clean them, they put a chain around one leg that is attached to a pole. Dax asked, couldn’t they just pull that pole out of the ground if they wanted?” “Oh, sure,” the trainer replied, “but they don’t. “The elephants are treated this way from the time they are babies. And when they are young, they aren’t strong enough to pull out the pole. So after trying and trying, they eventually give up. When they are older and stronger, when they actually could pull out the pole, they don’t even try anymore because they were taught over and over, that they weren’t strong enough.
Wow. Just let that get in. Think of what you were taught. Think of what you were told. By a parent. A sibling. A teacher. A peer. It is so easy for us to stop tugging at the pole. But I am here to tell you differently. You ARE strong enough. Try. And try again.
You decide who you are. What you are. No chains on that. You ARE strong enough. Pull. You ARE brave enough. Kick. The pole loosens. You ARE smart enough. Dig deep inside. The pole resists. And you say, enough. You kick again. You ARE enough. The pole releases.
Look, I’m not different from you. I’ve pulled away from so many poles. The ones that said you aren’t special. You aren’t good enough. You’re nothing. But there was a small voice inside of me that heard something different. It told my hands to paint. To write. To break free. To astonish. If you need to hear a voice until yours is louder, listen to mine. You have been given a gift – a gift that makes believing possible. Use it. Be it. Share it freely with this world. Break free the chain. Astonish.