Un-Tether Your Soul (Lessons From A Baby Elephant)

Have you ever been to the circus? The elephants are always a top draw, and in fact, the retirement of the elephant show by Ringling Brothers was cited as a primary reason for declining sales that eventually ended their 146-year run. It is both terrifying and breathtaking to watch these massive and extremely strong animals being led and doing tricks at the will of the trainer. And further still, to walk around the grounds and see they are tethered to a small, unassuming peg in the ground. How is that even possible? We all know they possess the power to snatch that rope in an instant! What stops these impressive beasts from breaking free of their shackles and going wherever they choose to go? Their minds!

It is a common practice in training baby elephants to secure them to a stake in the ground with a rope. They will pull and resist the bondage but do not have the strength at this stage to get away. Day after day as this continues to be the result of their efforts, at some point, before they are fully grown, they just stop trying. This creates an adult elephant, with immense power over their own freedom, who believes they are still bound. It is not the stake that stops them, but the fear (sight) of the rope.

Can you identify with that elephant? Are there insecurities or circumstances that you do not feel strong enough to get away from? I would like to suggest that the issues holding us back in our lives are absolutely in our control, and we simply need to re-focus our attention away from the traps of the past and recognize the power and strength we have TODAY!

This can be difficult when the mind replays things we heard growing up. If someone in your younger years was belittling, demeaning, or used intimidation as an ill-guided attempt at motivation, you may struggle with feeling worthy and capable. You might still be living with that critical inner voice giving convincing arguments why there is no reason to even try. “You will fail. You are weak. You are stupid.” That is being bound. We must all stop those recurring recordings in our minds. In fact, not only stop, but erase and completely eject the tape. It is extremely profound the impact of the words we received from our parents and those in authority. (And a wise reminder for us, as parents, to choose our words carefully.) But we are not forever chained to their thoughts or opinions. Parents, teachers, coaches; they all make mistakes and some were just wrong or even cruel. There comes a time when we all have to believe in ourselves even if nobody else does.

The reverse side to this is when children are taught they can do no wrong, are never allowed to lose and taught the sky is the limit. They grow into adults shackled with an unrealistic world view who believe the universe owes them a grand existence just because they occupy a space in it. We absolutely should encourage and enrich our children with possibilities and dreams, but just a dream is not enough. There is hard work, determination and many disappointments and setbacks along the way. We cannot cease to pull when the rope is tense and the ground is hard around us. It takes grit and backbone to persevere until the release comes; that moment of conquering the mountain and the rush of joy.

Dear friends, my hope at this moment is for you to recognize the emotional constraints in your life. Maybe you have settled for an unhealthy relationship to keep from being alone. Do not allow another person’s inner pain keep you from living a full and beautiful life. Or you could be stuck in a thankless job afraid to take a chance on your passion or calling. We are not always able to have our dream job, but we should find an outlet for our gifts and look for ways to give positively back into this world. Sometimes people are tied down by family dynamics they feel obligated to maintain because of a DNA thread. Trust me, I am all for family and strongly believe in sticking together, but a shared bloodline does not give anyone the right to offend, mistreat or abuse you. Do not stand for this in your life. I trust that I am getting through and shining a spotlight on the shackles to your soul along with the motivation to break them.  

My point is to live in the here and now. We are only as strong, loving, kind, giving, resourceful and happy as we are TODAY! We cannot be tethered to the pain and disappointments of yesterday or stuck in fear for the worries of a day not yet dawned. We have to possess and own the moments we have right in front of us. I understand this is very easy for me to say while sitting in front of a computer screen and not truly understanding or knowing your situation. I will not pretend we can just snap our fingers and everything is magical and perfect. But I do sincerely believe that we all have the gifts and the power within us to shine and be joyous and fulfilled. You do not have to live one more day tied to a stake of defeat and fear. You must realize that rope is an illusion and there is nothing 
holding you down.

You are Free!

Hope With Abandon

Hope Out


  1. Beautifully said! This is so empowering! Thank you - I am sharing and sending to a friend!


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