Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Comfort of the Shire and the Need for a Burglar

No one asked for this.
No one wanted this pandemic, but it came knocking on our door without warning. And here we sit with it, several weeks into quarantine, trying politely to make it leave. We comply with the new laws, but the irritation grows, and we wonder when it will end. Then it hits us—there might not be a real end in sight. We panic, thinking we’re not equipped to handle this for one more day.

But we have everything we need to handle this, exactly like Bilbo Baggins had when Gandalf came knocking on his door.

Gandalf needed a burglar.
Gandalf invited Bilbo to leave the comfort of the shire to join him and the dwarves on an exciting adventure, one Bilbo felt ill-equipped to handle. But when Gandalf told him they needed a burglar, he was sending a symbolic message to the little hobbit. They needed him exactly as he was, faults and all. In fact, his unique skills as a burglar were exactly what helped them reach their victory at the end of the story.

You have what it takes—precisely as you are.
When we face a pandemic knocking at our door, and when it robs us of our comfortable life, we feel fear and uncertainty. We think we are incapable of handling the disaster. We wish we had more time to prepare, more skills to adapt, and more emotional stability to hold it together. When this happens, and it will happen again, take a deep breath. Remember the eternal power of story.

The bigger picture, the eternal power of story, sends us the message we need to remember.
When trials come our way, the person we are is the person who is able to handle the problem, every single time. Think of an unexpected challenge you faced in the past—you got through it despite the limited skills you had. You might have stumbled or even reacted poorly at first, but you did it. You’ve been the hero of your story all along because your story can only be successful with the main character known as you.

So during this crazy time, remember this: the pandemic might seem gigantic, and you might feel small and insignificant to handle it, but that’s not reality. Your special and unique skills, talents, and demeanor will rally together to help you be the hero you need to be. You can face and defeat this demon and every other demon that comes your way.

Never underestimate the power of story.
All my best,

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