Learning To Play Possum

I stood there, face to face with a possum.

The dogs barked and clawed at the sliding glass door as they watched.

This is our 5am routine. Backyard animal control.

Usually a flip of the lights sends these creatures of the night on their way.

But not this time.

I walked up and she froze. She stared in my eyes from the top of the fence.

Even with a clear escape route, she stood still, not moving an inch.

Finally, I shooed her along with a broom and she scurried across the fence until she faded into the dark.

A piece of me wanted to wave like a child saying goodbye to a new friend.

These unexpected experiences are more than just a nuisance. They’re all lessons if we’re paying attention and listening closely.

Everything is saying something. Especially when no words are spoken.

When we hear with our heart, we unlock the power of choice.

We can choose to continue to live on the coat tails of our emotions or decide that some of our reactions aren’t very useful.

I could have became frustrated. After all, my feet were wet with morning dew and the air was brisk.

But for me, the possum was a reminder that life is unpredictable and that sometimes our best defense is saying nothing and doing nothing.

We’re allowed to watch the scene unfold without attempting to be the director.

I’m tired of getting wrapped up in the unnecessary. Because it leaves me feeling heavy and hollow.

I’d rather play possum.

Not everything is our responsibility. We have to learn to find a balance between acting and refraining.

And slowly overtime the weight on our shoulders will become lighter.

Then all of our strength can be used to tend to the things that are truly meaningful.

Each other…

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