The Guru in the Bathroom
“When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,”
I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”
~Sydney J. Harris~
We haven’t come as far as we have in life without overcoming a number of obstacles. We tend to forget that because each new obstacle seems larger than the last and tends to bring up that old feeling of anxiety. There is someone who can help us, though, and they stare back at us from the bathroom mirror. They have wisdom to share and encouragement to offer. They have stories to tell!
I was four years old playing on the front steps with my little sister. Eddie, the neighborhood bully happened to come by. I don’t remember what made him a bully or why he’d want to bother two little girls playing on the steps, but that isn’t important to the story. What’s important is what my mother saw when she came to check on us. I was wielding a large orange plastic baseball bat, holding it in both hands and swinging it wildly from one side of the steps to the other, my little sister tucked safely behind me shouting, “Don’t you come here, Eddie! Don’t you come here!” That little girl had guts! And she’s me!
I was grade nine and found myself on student council. Each member had to get on a committee so I chose the yearbook committee. When I met with the others who had made the same choice, I was dismayed to see only three girls in grade seven, all looking to me for guidance. A committee of four to do a yearbook in a school that hadn’t had a yearbook in years?! Worse – I had no experience and neither did they. We decided to do it anyway. That was when I made the speech. I said, “OK. We’re going to do it. It won’t be easy. There will be obstacles, but we’ll overcome them. We’re not going to quit.” Do you think we managed to produce a beautiful yearbook despite those obstacles? Sure we did! That girl had guts. And she’s me!
You, too have stories from your past that remind you of your awesomeness. That amazing person you were is still the amazing person you are. We just forget how wonderful, empowered and determined we can be.
What stories from your past empower and inspire you when you face obstacles in your present day life? What does the Guru in the bathroom have to say to you?
photo credit: Danielo Cavalli