Ankle Biters

The ankle biters were out in full force today. No matter how swiftly I smacked them down or kicked them off, it felt like two would replace the one. By days end I was exhausted from swatting, and succumbed to the lump in my throat as I made my way to the car.

In the dark silence I asked myself “What should you have done differently?” Met with the hollow echo of my heavy breath, I chose to rescind the question. You see, the ankle biters aren’t real, just as thoughts are not real. Thoughts are simply momentary perceptions. The forces of good and evil, or negativity and positivity, however one chooses to label them, exist in a perpetual loop. It is up to the owner to decide if a negative feedback loop will remain playing over and over again.

I thought again about the ankle biters; the small ones who nip, push, poke and strive to diminish another’s presence in order to elevate their own. Often they believe they have authority, and attempt to use it in ways that create distance, not empowerment. In their need to win, they ultimately lose.

Like crabs in the bottom of a bucket, they fight against one another with fierceness, focusing on their singular plight of entrapment. Escape may be plausible, but they are hindered as a result of the collectivity of the group. They will grab at one another endlessly, ensuring none individually can attain freedom. So it can also be with human behaviors. Motivated by feelings they cannot control or perhaps even recognize, people sometimes attack and demean others, often within their own group. It may be subtle, or pronounced, but it is always harmful.

Determined to not dwell on this experience, I re phrased my question to myself: “What can you do now to counteract the effects of today?” Suddenly the feedback loop was playing on a different channel. As I ran errands, I stopped into a gift shop, with nothing in mind but being a blessing to someone else. As I gathered small items for people, I picked up the good energy along with it. At the register, some bracelets caught my eye. Stainless steel bands with various inscriptions were on the display.

One stood out saying “Courageous”, and I knew that it was meant for a young woman who often checks my groceries out at the food store. I was not in her line tonight, but caught a glimpse of her as I exited. I suddenly desired to make her smile, and silently asked God to let her still be there. As I reached for it, I saw the one right beneath it which read “Perfectly Imperfect”.  In that moment was when the negative energy of the ankle biters fell away. I could feel myself fill back up, and remembered that the only way to raise the frequency was to take my mind off of myself and onto others.

Crabs can’t lift one another up. Humans can. If we grab at one another with human hands, let it be in kindness, humility and sincerity. Let’s not be part of the demise, but of the destiny.

My bracelet fits me perfectly.


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