A friend sent me an email this morning about Sucker Day, an annual celebration in Wetumka, Oklahoma that started in 1950 when a grifter convinced the townspeople that he would stage a circus for them, took their money, and disappeared. When the people discovered the swindle, they laughed at themselves and decided that since they were prepared for having a carnival that they would have one anyway. So they staged their own parade and had such a great time that it has become an annual event.
We've all heard expressions about making omelets of broken eggs or turning lemons into lemonade. And certainly these people made some lemonade. But they also did something more; they celebrated trust in their lives instead of becoming suspicious and bitter. Yep, they chose love instead of fear in grand way. Rather than being angry and afraid of getting duped again, they remained openhearted and joyful and chose to have a party.
That story particularly resonated with me because I had an episode of fear yesterday and reacted in a way that was lacking trust. And afterwards I had a flash of how that episode was linked to a past experience, one where I had felt like a sucker. My lack of trust in the present was an attempt to avoid being made a fool of from the past. What a silly I am sometimes. So I got to laugh at myself, make my amends, be grateful that I saw it quickly, and choose to use the experience as a lesson in staying present and grounded in love. Often in the past I had used the image of a protective shield as mental armor in difficult situations. Today I prefer the visual of being spacious and open and trusting that any negativity or fear can pass on through me without harm. Because I know that the advantages of remaining open and trusting are far greater than any illusion of safety that might be had by fear based protection.
"Many of our hurts and ills come from our thinking structures, our attitudes. We've been hurt once , so we don't trust anybody because of it. Trust takes a lot of effort. But once you get to that point of trusting, then if the people you trust don't live up to their end, that's their problem, not yours. You trusted them, and if they let you down, then accept it and go onto others. If you stay at that point of betrayal and hurt, you are not going to grow. Move onto other vistas, other opportunities." (from The Wind is My Mother, written by Bear Heart, a Muskogee medicine man, in collaboration with Molly Larkin)