In an article I read several years ago, it described the results of a real-life biodome experiment. Scientists had constructed an environment inside a dome with plants and animals and trees, carefully monitored humidity and air composition.
After a year or so, they realized their oversight: The trees that grew were massive. Unencumbered by the elements, up and up they grew. Then, these trees began to topple. Their root systems too shallow to hold their height, the trees began to uproot themselves. They were too weak.
What the scientists reflected was that in the absence of wind, storms, an opposing force, there was nothing for the trees to press against, no muscles they had to build in order to survive. They were lily-livered.
The trees needed opposition, they needed challenge, they needed to test their mettle against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune!
In other words, they needed to be exposed.
When considering those things within us that are our most precious secrets, our most protected parts of self, I must consider that there’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma.
If I don’t expose my secret dreams and talents and self to external slings and arrows, they won’t become stronger because of it. And therefore I get to fear that my dreams and talents cannot hold up—and I’d be right! Because in truth they can’t survive if they’re lilies, so I protect them further. They stay weak, and I fear they’re weak. Rinse, Repeat.
As I regard my moving out into the world in a more full way, I have to know that my dreams will suffer. They will hit bumps, they will be jostled. They — I — may feel threatened. I may feel inadequate.
But this is in service of my strength.
It’s so vulnerable!
Yet, the alternative of hiding and waiting for storms to pass eternally is impossible. To live an undiscovered life is to live in certain death.
There’s no real bravery in my opening up the bio-dome, exposing my tender green shoots to the terrors of “out there” — there’s only sheer and pure necessity.
Besides, I know I’ll get stronger, and strong girls are hot.