There was a 2 year old girl with curls, charm and thighs for days who walked around in the dark. Her mother, loving and into all things adorable, placed bells on her shoes. That’s right: little bells that announced her arrival as she padded in and out of rooms.

The girl tolerated strangers. She loved Sesame Street. Above all, she enjoyed one thing: the dark. She walked from room to room with little to no light, exploring the unfamiliar with each step. Curiosity drove her onward until a loved one interrupted her private tour. She continued to do it, needing only a sunset to pique her interest.

I really missed that little woman – until I realized she was starting to walk again.

Obviously, I was the little explorer referenced above. I toddled into dark areas like it was normal. I was, to an extent, my own person. It took a while before I realized that girl got led into the light and stopped exploring.

I can’t tell you what I wore yesterday or my favorite song a year ago, but I can easily recall the times I took advice I regretted. Peers, parents, and even old neighbors had advice over the years that I would take because that person was either older, more experienced, or well-versed in good old common sense. I shouldn’t been happy, right?

Well, I wasn’t. Each time I followed something outside of what I knew was best, I felt a falling sensation in my spirit. It was as though I was climbing to a new height internally and someone pulled my ladder away, causing me to crash on the facts below.

This year, though – right now, in fact – I’m reclaiming those bells. I understand now that people often speak their fears in the form of advice. We, as a whole, are great talkers and highly selective listeners. Too often, we force others’ statements through a filter of skepticism, experience, and personal memories. What we then digest is, well, milk compared to the meatier conversation we were just given.

Uncertainty doesn’t have to be dangerous. There are opportunities that will present themselves to us in new ways. With prayer and some personal research as guides, why can’t we move forward into something that’s a little opaque?

2016’s arrival brought an onslaught of the usual: new businesses being started, new relationships. old loves being rekindled, and promises – tons upon tons of promises of what “will be different” with this new calendar year. That’s all great, but without faith, planning, and effort, only a small percentage of people will be celebrating come next December 31st.

We must get out of our comfort zones and into the proverbial dark. I’m not talking the macabre or the life-threatening; this is about slipping back into our journals, plans from years past, and even conversations from the present to answer one question:

“How can I do what scares me most to take me the farthest?”

Too many of us carry dormant dreams around like dead weight while we blame the consequences on other people. Here’s the naked truth: we can’t handle it anymore.
It’s time to resurrect what didn’t need to die in the first place.. First, however, you must be willing to brave the “darkness” – the hidden fears, the unspoken truth, and even the ridicule of others – to bring them back.

It’s time I put my bells back on. Suddenly, I’ve got some walking to do. Care to join me?



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