Sometimes we gain freedom not only by letting go ourselves, but by helping someone else let go of us.
A child rounds a corner on her little purple bike, one training wheel clattering on the sidewalk, the other high in the air. Her father calls her over and tells her that today is special. Today, she has finally outgrown those training wheels and will learn to ride the bike like the big kids! Tears follow the happy news.
“But what if I fall? Or I can’t balance? I’m not ready!” she complains.
Finally, after many assurance that he will be right beside her, she lets daddy take the wheels off.
At first. he holds tightly to the bike, and she sits there frozen, unable to pedal, rigidly gripping the handlebars.
“Relax,” he says. “It’s okay. I’m right here by your side.”
She relaxes. Then she starts to pedal. Dad release his grip slightly. He lets go and runs alongside. She looks over and laughs. “Daddy, don’t let go! I’ll fall!” And then, the inevitable happens; she falls.
But she gets back up. He holds on again. And again. And again. Until suppertime, daddy runs beside, lets go of the bike, slows to a walk, and watches his little girl ride off on two wheels.
Is there something or someone in your life that you need to let go of in order to grow? Is there someone you need to help let go of you? Sometimes it’s tempting to keep people dependent on us. It makes us feel needed and powerful. It makes us feel good. But it may be holding them and us back.
Go ahead. It’s time. Take off the training wheels. Help them ride off into the sunset. Set both of you free.
P.S. I can’t remember where I found this so I apologize for not being able to mention the source of this.