Ask Anyway

One of the times I felt most alive and free was when I was somewhere between 8 and 10 years old. My mom’s best friend had a camper at a campground about an hour East of where we lived. Her place was modest but comfortable and I loved being there. Little was ever planned. We were free to do and be anything at any time. I had decided this must be what Heaven was like...or pretty darned close.

I was outside one afternoon doing a little bit of nothin’. The sun was shining but it wasn’t painfully hot. My nothingness was interrupted by the unexpected touch of raindrops on my forehead. Quickly, the drops multiplied and although it didn’t feel heavy to my young spirit, it was enough for me to know it was only a matter of minutes before mom called us inside.

From inside the camper I listened to the sound of raindrops hitting the leaves of the trees. I wondered what that felt like, wishing I could, for just a few moments, be one of those trees.

Me: Mom, can I go outside...in the rain?

Mom: Now?

Me: Yes.

Mom: I guess. If you want to.

I paused for a second, shocked that she actually said “Yes” and then ran out the door!


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It did not matter that the sound and smell of the rain were so enticing, practically calling my name, singing and dancing in the middle of a rain shower was reserved for fictional characters seen in musicals like “Mary Poppins”. And, since I was not a fictional character, I knew I would be stuck inside the camper, dancing only in my imagination. Still something louder and stronger than what I “knew” urged me to ask...just in case I had somehow become a character in a musical.

I listened to that louder voice and asked anyway, braced for the impending, “No” that would include a scowl from my mother and chuckle from my brother. I was prepared for the possibility that I would have to wait this rain shower out in the camper while playing a friendly game of Trouble. I was braced for what was to come.

As adults, the responsible thing is to explore all the possibilities that will lead to “No” and avoid them...like the plague. We skip opportunities to FEEL what authenticity means in our spirit because of the expectation that the response will not be favorable.

What if we asked anyway?

I vividly remember the shock I felt when my mom gave me permission to go outside in the rain. I also vividly remember the feeling of the rain hitting my skin. I remember the freedom and joy that filled me as I spun around in circles.

Asking for what we want, going after it as though “No” is not an option, moves us closer to who, what and where we are destined to be. And yes, sometimes what we need to get there is a moment to dance in the rain.


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