If you’ve ever watched a robin build a nest, you know that the amount of energy expended by both the adult male and female is enormous. In the early days, it’s the male that flits back and forth to bring food for everyone – including the mother. As the chicks start to grow, the two increasingly take turns to bring back enough to fill their hungry beaks.
Eventually, the nest is bursting, and its time to fly. These are precarious times, and for some chicks the leap from the nest is simply too much to handle. But nature has a solution for that too. Both adults hover around the nesting area for a minimum of 10 days just to make sure the chick has enough strength to continue. From there, they’re on their own.
And so it is this time of year with many of our children who are graduating from high school or college or university. They are leaving the nest of their early years and taking the big leap of faith.
Of course, we’re all continually taking that big leap, and often – like that little chick not quite ready to fend for itself – we lean on others and expect support. But it’s at these times that we may find the support isn’t there – the adults have left us to our own devices.
Michael Beckwith says “pain pushes until vision pulls.” We cannot expect others to support us in our vision until we claim that vision as our own and begin to act on it. Our “pain” is ours alone.
We can see this in so many places – in the path from addiction, in the path to economic independence, in the path of our careers. It’s not until we claim the situation for ourselves, that we begin to facilitate the necessary change.
In these delicate early stages of transformation, we cannot lean on others and expect support. Whenever we do so, we are asking them to fill us – rather than knowing that all that we need is already within. If we have the vision, we have the strength. The only thing left is courage.
Once we have set our intention, then we can turn to others to support that vision – and they will do so in droves. But until that point, we are asking others to carry us, and they can’t. It’s not their job.
Our job at these times is to recognize that no matter where we are on our journey, Spirit is always carrying us. The guidance that we seek from others is within.
Like our little robin chicks, we can expect to fly.