My daughter got a new bike for her birthday. It feels big. Really big for her tiny frame. And she's excited! I joined her on her maiden voyage this week, coaching and watching from behind as she tackled the San Fransisco hills with her new hand brakes and gears, dodged trash cans on narrow sidewalks, boldly entered four-way intersections, navigated bike lanes, and just barely missed a few dogs.
She did it all with quiet determination, grace, and bravery.
I realized that when we are children, facing something big is almost a daily part of life. We have fears, we fall down, get bruised, cry, get up, and get back on our 'bikes'. It becomes a natural process that we don't question, because we know we are kids growing up.
And then we 'grow up' and somehow we take on the idea that the world should fit us. And when it feels too big, we try to fit life into a box labeled "comfortable". We start living safely. So safely, that when we fall down, recovery can often feel insurmountable.
I think I'm going to give the word 'grown up' a rest. I want to embrace myself as a work in progress. I invite you to join me. Let's compassionately sit with feelings that we think we should have out grown: feeling awkward, off balance, afraid, embarrassed, exposed, judged, small.
We now have the wisdom of age which should give us more comfort: We know we are all in this together. People really don't care. Or at least won't remember. Life is short.
So let's not make it small too . . . what size bike are you riding? I hope it's one that has room to grow.