What’s on the back of your computer?
To introduce September's theme, let me tell my story backward and see how it goes.
On the back of my computer, there is a sticker that says, “Don’t Embrace the Skunk.”
One was given to me, and one was given to my husband by two teenage sisters who we love dearly. The older sister runs her print shop business and designed and printed these custom stickers for us.
But what does it mean to not embrace the skunk?
It all started one Sunday when the youth Sunday School class at our church was missing a teacher. Jeff, my husband, and I stepped in as last-minute substitutes, unprepared for a lesson. So, we began sharing stories and asked the youth to help us identify the moral lessons we could learn from the story.
One of the stories Jeff shared was from a time when he worked as a night security guard in Zion National Park in the summer of 2006. He would walk around the grounds of the lodge area, check doors to make sure they were locked, and just ensure the general safety of the area. One night, while out making his rounds, he spotted a skunk in the distance. As it approached him, he froze. All he could do was wait for the skunk to pass, but it didn't, instead, it kept approaching Jeff, until it walked right through Jeff's extended legs, its fur rubbing against his bare calves. Fortunately, it continued on its way, leaving Jeff in a sense of grateful shock that he had not been sprayed with the skunk's foul-smelling liquid.
So, what was the moral the class derived from that story?
Just because something is present in our lives doesn't mean we have to embrace it. Unpleasant things may come close, but we have a choice not to engage with them. We don't embrace the skunk.
There was a time in my life when the author's world felt unpleasant. There were foul-smelling areas, irritating experiences, and moments that felt rotten. When I was younger, I couldn't fully understand what was happening. I sensed what was wrong but didn't know what was right. A lot of times I felt confused. I made a choice not to engage in certain negative experiences, but there were many tough, lonely, and challenging moments.
Now, I have a better understanding of what the "skunk" represents for me,I use that clearer vision to navigate a bit better through my experiences. There are times when the "skunk" brushes up against my leg. In those moments, I sense that a wrong move could get me "sprayed." So I strive to stay vigilant, and do what I can to not embrace the wrong situations.
As a result, I've found more fulfillment, peace, and overall joy and happiness. My gratitude for my journey is growing more and more each day. I'm delighted with the overall experience of being an author and I now am embracing the good that is all around me.
So I keep the sticker on the back of my computer as a reminder of some cherished lessons learned along the way. May you too identify your skunks and then do all you can to not embrace them.
I promise you that greater happiness lies ahead!
SEPTEMBER'S SPECIAL GIFT
In place of a giveaway this month, I am offering readers the opportunity to download two free books.
Check out these posts to learn more about the books and how to access your copy.