One of my all-time favorite movies is Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons.” A twelve-year-old genius named Lewis wants very badly to be adopted; wants it as badly as he wants to be an inventor. He’s wicked-smart, he has a burning desire to build wonderful things that will improve the lives of everyone in the world, he works constantly on his creations – which, sadly, never function. In fact, most of them blow up in his face, leaving him apologizing helplessly, convincing prospective parents that he wouldn’t be a good fit for them. And after 124 adoption interviews go wrong, he decides he’s had enough.
The head of the orphanage tries to encourage him, knowing he’s special – they just haven’t found the right family yet. Lewis figures if he could just find out what his mom looked like, if he could just see her face that rainy night she anonymously left him on the top step of the orphanage, he can find her and they can be a family again. So he invents a memory scanner, studying the brain exhaustively, working and refining to the point of keeping his roommate up all night – events that ripple forward in unexpected ways.
Enter the science fair, a thirteen-year-old boy named Wilbur, and a skinny, sinister man wearing an intelligent bowler hat that sabotages the scanner, causing it to fail spectacularly, and a cascading chain of events that culminates in Lewis needing to repair a time machine about thirty years in the future so he can restore the time stream to its original path.
At first he balks. What does he know about time machines?
After his failure in the garage he swears off inventing forever (again). Then at dinner with Wilbur’s family, Lewis is volunteered to fix a PB&J gun. He fails yet again… but the Robinson family reaction is different from any he’s ever encountered.
I’ve read a lot this week about fellow MKMMAers being worried about the phrase in Og, “I must fail often in order to succeed only once.” Success is great – I sure like it a lot better than failure – but like Billie says, we don’t learn anything from it. Too much of yesterday’s success, and we are lulled into today’s complacency. Failure should be celebrated, not feared. (Speaking strictly for myself, of course, that concept, like celebrating tiny successes, is a new thought that I need to develop receptive brain cells for – but I’d be willing to bet I’m not the only one.)
And yet, in order to keep moving forward – in other words, to keep growing and progressing – a person has to let go. Not only of grudges and resentments, forgiving ourselves for people we’ve wronged and others who have wronged us, but also of past successes and – most importantly – who we have been up until that moment.
Even if we don’t really like who we are, it’s still a sacrifice to give that self up – that self represents what’s comfortable. Safe. Known. But it’s impossible to progress if we’re still clinging tooth and nail to who we’ve been.
After submitting my survey, I read Mark’s blog for Week #12. He talked about surrender – in his case, surrendering to the freedom of his own creativity. Reading the post got me to thinking, and I asked in the comments if he reckoned that we all have a different point of surrender, given that we’re all such very different people, even though we’ve all been shaped by many of the same false beliefs (we’re not good enough, we have to rely on what’s outside ourselves to feel worthwhile, we do not and can not create our own reality, especially not a reality we design because life just doesn’t work like that… you know the drill). He answered in a very emphatic affirmative – “Yes, no question about it Ellen…some people have surrendered BEFORE they even got here…..others it is a process while still other’s its an epithany …. VIVA LA DIFFERENCE !!”
In my own studies this week I came to realize that I know, understand, accept and rejoice in my own creativity. I know that I am a luminous being of power who creates her reality with thought and the belief that the thought has already happened. I’ve always known – at some times in my life, I’ve known more consciously than I have at others, but I’ve known. What I have never been able to accept is the necessity of letting go of the fear.
My entire life, I’ve been afraid of my own power. And I’ve clung to that fear in order to hold myself in check. After all, how could I know what I would do with it? I might abuse my abilities. I might become a bully – and why not? How often are we shown as children that might makes right? The bigger and stronger you are, the more of your will you can impose on others. Why shouldn’t I use what I can do to get even with the people who have wronged me? And you know, even if I didn’t outright abuse my personal power, even if I didn’t seek vengeance, it’s easy – so terribly easy – to rationalize what I want to do so that it seems like the right thing to do. No. If I can even entertain the thought that I might do wrong with it, obviously I can’t be trusted with power. So I locked it away behind the fear… and felt virtuous in doing so. Protecting others from the monster I would become if ever I fully accepted what I am.
Do you see the missing piece? That tiny, yet significant bit of Truth that renders the argument invalid and reveals my fears as the growth-stopping illusions that they are?
It’s impossible to use the creative power of the One in order to do harm to another – who is in turn another projection of the One. As soon as you try, it rebounds on you, and the power slips through your fingers, as ethereal as mist.
And so now I’m asking myself – since I have the knowledge… have I the courage to dare, and the faith to do? Do I have the nerve to reach inward and claim the power we were all born with, surrendering myself for once and always to trusting in the system? Will I employ natural law consciously, choosing to have “whatsoever I desire as I pray,” secure in the faith that if I “believe that I receive, it shall be mine?”
Jury’s still out on that one. Easy choice, really, at least intellectually – why would I want to be limited, particularly at my own hands? And seriously, I wouldn’t be in the MKMMA if I didn’t want the change, right? – but even though the choice is an easy one, and putting it into practice is no harder than I decide to make it be, there’s still a part of me that doesn’t want to sacrifice what we are in order to have what we might be.
In that, even at the age of twelve, Lewis is more evolved than I am.
We can have any future we envision. All we have to do is make the right choices… and keep moving forward, one step at a time.
In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.