Getting Onto the Ladder

I was on the top of a very high, convex, brown concrete sculpture. Far below me, people were happily milling around and laughing in a plaza, eating ice cream and playing with their children. I couldn’t move backwards or forwards as I was afraid of slipping off this dome that I was on, and fall to my death below - I was really afraid. Then, in front of me I suddenly saw a steel ladder! (By now, you have probably correctly guessed that this was a dream I had – last night.) The ladder was my only hope of salvation and the only way to safety, yet it was even scarier to reach out and get onto the ladder! It was easier to remain perched precariously on this concrete sculpture, terrified as I was, than to try to climb onto the ladder.

I called down to the plaza below, and some kind workmen agreed to assist me to get onto the ladder. It seemed pretty flimsy to me, and it had to be pushed over towards me so that I could gain a foothold. Two workmen held the ladder closer to me, one on each side, while a third climbed up in front of me to guide me. He assured me that the ladder was quite safe, and he adjusted it so that I could climb on, and then he told me that I had to lean out into space, let go of my handholds on the dome and grab the ladder! This was the scariest part of all. I had to let go of what little security I had in order to climb down to safety. I was frozen with fear. Then a fourth workman climbed up, got right next to me and held my arm tightly, while I finally reached out and grabbed the ladder. Once I was on the ladder, relief washed over me and the strain lifted off me. I was soon climbing down to the plaza below to the welcoming cheers of the people. What a dream!

I awoke from this dream realizing that it was an analogy of life. We create sculptures in our lives and we get ourselves into difficult circumstances. And when we look again, we find ourselves in scary situations. We realize that things are getting worse and that we have to do something before it’s too late. Often, we don’t even see the solutions / ladders available to us, as we’re blinded by panic and blindfolded by stress. And, when we do see the ladders, we perceive our present situation as being less dangerous than climbing out onto that precarious looking ladder, don’t we? We want what those people in the plaza below have so badly, yet we’re paralyzed, and the more we analyze the situation, the harder it gets to break free.

Those of us in the plaza below see the casualties, the broken lives and the bankruptcies of those who wait too long on those high, slippery domes they have built. It’s sad to know that there were solutions and salvation, ladders and liberation available to them, but they chose not to take advantage of it. And we do understand how difficult it is to make the transition from our current situation.

So, what we need are those caring and skilled workmen to get up here on this dangerous dome with us and help us get onto the ladder. Fortunately, there are good people who can assist us and there are many tools available as well. But we have to call those workmen and tell them we need their help. And, when they kindly offer it, we have to be prepared to take their advice and follow their instructions if we want to party in the plaza and enjoy the relief and peace of mind that is available to us at the bottom of the ladder. That ladder might be our own business, a diet, Alcoholics Anonymous, business solutions, a spiritual path or marriage counselling. The good news is that there are solutions and there are wonderful people to help you. For your own sake, and for the sake of those who love you, grab the ladder.

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