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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Parable of the Bed Frame

Mr. Jennifer and I were dissatisfied with our bed. It was creaky, so we propped it up on cinderblocks and lost all of the storage space underneath. It had a piece of moulding at the top that poked me in the head and made it impossible to sit in bed without hunching. It was pretty nicked from two moves and lots of kids and pets jumping on it over the years. We purchased this bed frame second-hand-in-the-first-place in 1999, so it had had a good, long life!

I guess over the years I became content to be discontent. It was easier to complain than do something about it. My frustration built up very gradually, but one day, I finally said, "Why am I putting up with this? Life is too short to spend 1/3 of my time in a bed I hate."

But new beds are expensive, right? Fear shuts down the desire for change before we even acknowledge the desire as a real thought.

I was brave. I pushed through the deprivation mentality:

  • "I have to hold on to it, even if I'm unhappy, because at least I'll have something." 
  • "What if what I want isn't out there?" 
  • And even more scary: "What if I don't even know what I want?"

I knew I wanted change, even if I wasn't sure what that was yet. I looked on our local online ads. My exact bed frame was being sold by someone else--for $150! I said, "Well, no one would ever pay that for mine, but instead of hauling it to the dump, how about I throw it out there for $75?"

It sold within a couple of hours. People were beating each other down for my piece-of-junk-bed frame.

So now what? I have a bed on cinderblocks. What DO I want? How can I claim what is mine if I don't know what that is? I know it's just furniture, but how would it support the feeling we wanted in our room? We figured out a few solutions we'd be happy with and threw it out to the universe. Within a couple of days a gorgeous, like-new frame comes up for $100. We look, we buy. My wish-came-true cost, in effect, $25. Twenty. Five. Dollars.

The room has a completely different feel! I can read in bed. I can put my junk underneath so I don't have piles of stuff on the floor. The room feels peaceful and uncluttered--a haven.

That's when I realized this was a metaphor for my life. How often do I put up with a situation I am not happy with? Just complain instead of doing something? Decide ahead of time that I can't even allow myself to consider another possibility--another solution that could be my wish come true?

It is a provident universe! As I open myself up to change that I want, I believe that it will feel so wonderful to be rid of the old ideas, paradigms, and baggage that I've been lugging around--and that the "cost" of change is much less than I would have ever dreamed.

So how to do it?

First, I have to realize that a change needs to be made, stop complaining, and have the courage to ask the questions to find out what I want.

Next, get rid of the old situation. It's not better to hold on to something I don't want just for the sake of having something. Maybe it won't  be pretty for a while, but the time spent in limbo is probably much less than I fear.

Then, cast my desires out to the universe. God doesn't care what furniture I have, but I know He wants me to be happy. He who sees the sparrow's fall knows me intimately and wants to support me in my efforts to become a better person and to create my most authentic life. There are infinite blessings waiting for me as I open myself up to them.

I CAN change. I CAN live the life I want. Life is too short to be spent waiting for the life I wish I really had. I can do something today to create the amazing life I was meant to live.

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