[quote_left]“Come to the edge,” he said. They said, “We are afraid.” Come to the edge,” he said. They came. He pushed them…and they flew.” – Guillaume Apollinaire [/quote_left]
There’s an old parable that is one of my favourites that I want to share with you. It’s about an eagle that lived as a chicken. The parable goes like this…
One day, a chicken farmer found an eagle’s egg that had fallen from its nest. The farmer put the egg in his chicken coop with his chickens to keep it from perishing.
Soon the egg hatched and the young eagle grew up with the chickens believing that he too was a chicken. He was awkward and funny-looking to the other chickens, as he tried to be the best chicken he could be, but he began to think that something was wrong with him.
Since the chickens could only fly for short distances, the young eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken believed that he could only fly for a short distance. He thought that was what he was supposed to do. So that was all that he thought he could do… and that was all he was able to do. He lived like a chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air. One day, the eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken happened to look up at the sky. High overhead, soaring majestically and effortlessly was an eagle!
“What’s that?!” cried the young eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken in awe. “It’s magnificent! So much power and grace! It’s beautiful!”
“That’s an eagle, the king of the birds,” they said. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth, we are chickens.”
Days later, the old eagle was flying over the barnyard and noticed the young eagle running around with the chickens. He swooped down and landed in front of the young eagle.
“What are you doing?” asked the older eagle.
“What do you mean?” answered the young eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken.
“What are you doing running around with these chickens?”
“I am a chicken and these are my brothers and sisters.”
“No you’re not! You’re an eagle. You belong in the sky soaring high above this barnyard.” Said the older eagle.
“No I’m not! I am a chicken… I can’t fly.”
“You can’t fly because you’ve never tried… you’re an eagle, just like me.”
“Even if what you say is true, I’ve lived my whole life like a chicken, I’m not an eagle anymore.”
“It’s the heart of an eagle that matters, not the way he lived… Come with me.”
The young eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken took a look at his friends now hiding from the eagle. “Don’t listen to him!” they shouted, “don’t go with him, it’s a trick,”
But deep inside the heart of the eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken, a faint voice told him what he needed to do… maybe he really was an eagle! He took another look around the barnyard. Then he turned to the older eagle.
The older eagle instructed him to get onto his back. Moments later, they reached a cliff. They stood next to each other on the edge of the cliff looking down at the mountains in the distance. Without a second of hesitation, the old an eagle jumped off the edge, spread his wings and soared upward toward the heavens. The young eagle watched the older eagle with a sense of awe.
The eagle flew back to the cliff to his young friend. “Now it’s your turn,” said the older eagle. The young eagle looked down from the cliff and trembled. He’d never flown before. Maybe he would die. Maybe
he should go back home.
“Don’t look down,” the older eagle said, “Look up at the sky. Aim towards the sun and spreading your wings.”
The young eagle lifted his sight upward, spread his wings, and with a little push from the older eagle, he leaped off the edge… and he flew!
From that day forward the young eagle no longer thought he was a chicken, he no longer lived like a chicken… He now knew he was an eagle.
If you are someone who, like the eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken, is allowing your past to define your future and not living your full potential, I challenge you to come to the edge… and not allow the great possibilities and opportunities of the unknown to stop you.
We tend to allow our past to define our future. When we do this, we miss life calling us to being our authentic self. If this speaks to you, contemplate the following
– What if the universe is really supporting you to be your authentic self… to move past your limited thinking so you can soar to greatness?
– What if FEAR is just a diversion that’s keeping you from your heart’s desire.
– What if a simple act of courage – listening to your heart no matter what those around you are saying – could shift everything? Would you take the leap in faith?