A friend said to me once, "I couldn’t risk the bird in the hand, not even for the really incredible one in the bush."
That broke my heart, especially since that incredible bird in the bush he had been referring to at the time was me. That aside, that has stuck with me for several reasons and I’ve been musing over the idea of what we lose because we’re too afraid to let go of the death grip we have on one thing to see if there truly is something bigger, better, a more perfect fit for us out there somewhere else if we just have faith, be patient, and stay open. Whether it be a relationship, a job, the place you live... anything, I think we settle for good enough too often and though I do it as well, I believe when we risk that bird in the hand, sometimes that's when we receive our greatest blessings and at the end of the trail we can't believe there can be that much joy in the world, let alone in our soul.
I always think of Matthew McConaughey's line from The Wedding Planner ~ "What if what I think is great, really is great... but it's not as great, as something greater?"
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating never being satisfied with what you’ve got. Nor am I saying there is anything wrong with finding contentment. It’s simply, as I have further gone on to realize in the case of my friend, sometimes, god has an entire aviary for us, but we can’t see how that would be possible, after all, we only have two hands and they're kinda busy holding onto this one bird, how can I ever have a whole aviary? So we think we're being greedy and we say, no. We settle and say to the God of the universe, "I’ll stick with what I’m sure of, but thanks."
Believe me, I totally understand the fear of letting go of one thing, totally unsure if you'll ever have anything that great again. I guess for me, I've just spent enough of my life in fear at this point. I've spent enough time trying to settle and find contentment and take mere happiness for enough.
I think too often in life, we find something really great that makes us happy, and maybe we haven’t been happy in a very long time so it seems amazing and we overlook the tiny surface cracks and we think, but this is better than anything I’ve ever had… but what if it’s not the best you could have?
Also, I know for myself, when I decided to keep the bird in the hand, I tend to hold on a little too tight. Let me bring this around to my last relationship. Meeting him was literally like coming home. I fell and fell hard and then I realized he was my twin flame and what that meant and then he met the other woman and I started to lose him and I went into, okay so I can't have the dream relationship with him, but I'll sure as hell hold onto something at least!
That was the one big mistake I made throughout all this. I held on too tight, it caused me to compromise who I was and what I wanted and that wasn't good for me or him.
I think we do that a lot though. Hold onto that poor little bird we have so tight that it can't breathe and as it begins to suffocate, we panic and for some reason hold even tighter and we lose ourselves in this sickness that starts to take over.
After a 20 year marriage, I was on my own maybe a year when I met a man who was funny, thoughtful, sweet and passionate, everything I ever said I wanted in a man.
On paper, he was perfect for me.
Now something in my gut said it was too good to be true, that this wasn’t what god had for me, but there wasn’t anything blatant telling me no so I got into this relationship deeper and deeper and rather quickly at that. Before long we were living together.
Not long after that things started to deteriorate, both in our life situations and in our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him, but he was never right for me. I'll be honest with you, in the beginning of that relationship, we had some of the best sex of my life and coming out of a pretty much sexless 20 year time frame, that really got me. I was allowed to be free for the first time in my life. I was in a relationship where my passion had a place to be. That's very intoxicating.
Still, as things went on, and I started to see the character flaws. The way he never had my best interest at heart, especially when things got rough. He had a horrible temper and I eventually got to the point where I felt it was my job to manage his moods and good lord if that's not a stressful occupation I don't know what is... oh, and yes, I was magnificent at making excuses for him and his behavior.
There were times, right up to the very end, that I was still completely happy with him. There were lots of times to be honest. He's a nice guy and fun to be around, but sometimes “good” and “happy” aren’t the best choice. Sometimes, patience and perseverance and hard work are better.
I hold with me the lessons learned from that relationship and I determine to never again ignore my deeper intuitions on things. Yes, I had a man who loved me, I had a secure roof over my head, I had moments of joy… but I slowly lost myself to him, to his moods, to what he needed from me. I'm a bit of a chameleon, I do that in relationships and eventually there wasn't any me left. And had our lives not completely imploded, I'm not sure I ever would have gotten out.
The next time I had a chance to grab for the aviary, though, I took it. I packed up a suitcase with everything I could fit into it and moved to Florida. I literally decided one day and was standing in Florida two weeks later. I had no place to stay, the only person I knew lived two hours away, but I took a leap of faith and I went for the aviary, leaving the small bird of VA and security behind me.
Yes it’s been hard.
Yes, I’ve gone down paths since I’ve been here that I never imagined, some questionable, some not, all learning opportunities.
At the end of the day however, I have peace in my soul that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. There are no doubts. That's where I am with my last relationship now and that's where I have moved in my writing.
I’m a moderately successful published author of more than 20 books. I was making a sparse, but adequate living of my book sales and it has become something I’m so comfortable with, I know the process with my eyes shut and I’m good at what I do. I have great readers who get involved with my stories and my characters and who write me to tell me so. I am incredibly blessed, there is no doubt about it, but my writing career as it existed last year was my “bird in the hand” and Starlight Key is my aviary.
Starlight Key is the thing I was created to write and it may be an uphill battle getting people to take a chance on something so very different from what they’re used to, but once I get them to… I know the stories of love and heartbreak, of light and dark, of daring heroes and sadistic villains, will resonate. I know that there is an audience out there for this and that I will touch lives with it.
I believe in my soul Starlight Key will be an astounding success, because it’s life, it’s truth, it’s sexy, it’s different… and it has my heart and soul bare on the page and when an artist can do that… they can change the world.
What I've found to be utter truth through my own life experiences, is that if we can have a little faith, if we can loosen our grip on that bird in the hand, that god will bring so much color and joy and abundance into our lives, we aren't able to do much other than fall to our knees in gratitude.
I have a depth of believe that is life changing. I encourage you to find that in yourself. Never settle for the bird in the hand when your gut tells you that you should have the whole damn world!
Fpr more information on Starlight Key, please visit my website. Thank you.