by Theddee Rheyshelle, The Fairy Godmother
It was time to publish my first children’s book, but I was stuck. The idea of “putting my stuff out there” turned my stomach and flushed my cheeks. The thought of having to “market myself” produced a huge Nah ah—I don’t think so! Talk about a scaredy cat! I was consumed with fear.
Over the years, I’d collected quite the assortment of tools for changing my stinkin’ thinkin’ and unstickin’ my stuck self, but there was a part of this Ol’ Gal that was resistant to me even pretending like I was gonna reach for one of those tools. Don’t you dare even think about it! that part of me stated vehemently.
While sitting with this unexplainable and yet all-encompassing energy of fear and noticing my total resistance to any attempt to overcome it, a book came to mind: Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hunard. Whaaat?
Last time I had seen that book, the cover was missing, the dog-eared pages were coming apart at the bind, and the highlighted sections had bled through to the non-relevant sides, making it impossible to know what I had originally been trying to emphasize or bring into focus. If loving something truly makes it real, that book was as real to me as the Velveteen Rabbit!
Hinds Feet on High Places is an allegory about a young, facially-marred and crippled girl named Much-Afraid who lived in the Village of Much Trembling, along with the rest of her family of Fearings. Much-Afraid longed to escape to the High Places and go leaping (like a hind) upon the mountains in the Kingdom of Love. But alas! This was not an option for someone like her. And then, miracles of all miracles, she received a personal invitation to the High Places from her beloved Chief Shepherd.
Her first challenge came when she found out the Chief Shepherd wouldn’t be accompanying her on this journey and that, instead, she’d have to accept Sorrow and Suffering as her traveling companions. As you can imagine, this did not go over too well—even though the Chief Shepherd promised to come whenever she called out for Him.
I could SO identify with Much-Afraid’s longing to be loved, to know Love, her desire for MORE, her scars, her crippling’s, her fears… and the absolute horror at the idea of Sorrow and Suffering being her trail partners.
They are part of what I am trying to escape—and now you are telling me they’re coming with??? AND you’re suggesting I take hold of their hands for support? Yeah, I don’t think so!
After a bit of a tussle, Much Afraid and I begrudgingly surrendered to Sorrow and Suffering being our constant companions as we traversed the dangerous cliffs toward the High Places. Much-Afraid’s journey became a map or guidebook of sorts for my own journey. I clung to her story like a life-line. Her words gave me the words I needed to express what I was feeling and thinking. While she collected stones for a memorial of her learnings, I wrote songs to memorialize mine.
After her final test—willingly sacrificing the seed of love that the Chief Shepherd had planted in her heart prior to the journey—the thing she cherished the most, Much Afraid’s marred and crippled body was made whole, her name was changed to Grace and Glory, and she went leaping from mountain to mountain in the Kingdom of Love. When she ran into her old traveling companions, she thanked them profusely for being with her on the journey, stating that she couldn’t have made it without them.
In turn, they basically said, “No—Thank YOU!“ And proceeded to explain how they had needed her to affect their own transformation. I couldn’t remember what they had said, but I remembered the discombobulation that it had created in me. I didn’t get it. It felt foreign and odd, and so I would just kind of gloss over it and simply embrace the idea and the hope that my own Sorrow and Suffering would eventually become Peace and Joy.
And now, forty years later, this is my reality. Sorrow and Suffering are no longer a part of my daily life. Peace and Joy are now my companions. But what was it they had claimed to be the reason for their transformation?
I downloaded the audio version of the book and fast forwarded to the scene, and VOILA! The final piece of that transformational journey fell into place.
At first, Grace and Glory didn’t recognize her old companions… until they smiled and reached for her hands like they had done many times on their journey together.
“Why, you are Suffering and Sorrow… I was longing to find you again!”
“Oh no, we are no more Suffering and Sorrow than you are Much-Afraid. Don’t you know that everything that comes to the High Places is transformed? Since you brought us here with you, we are turned into Joy and Peace.”
“Brought YOU here? Why, from the first to last, you dragged ME…”
Again, they shook their heads. “No, we could never have come here alone, Grace and Glory. Suffering and Sorrow may not enter the kingdom of Love. But each time you accepted us, we began to change. Had you turned back or rejected us, we never could have come here…”
Ole’ Mole’ Guaca Mucho Gusto Goalie… Tator Tots and Chips to Boot!!!
I thought back to when, as a teenager in an incredible amount of emotional pain, I had surrendered to the idea of allowing Sorrow and Suffering to be my traveling partners… versus the way I was currently feeling about the terror that had me stuck in “non-production” mode—and my desire to overcome this fear by tricking it away (NLP), starving it to death (fasting), rebuking it (praying), or beating it into submission (sheer will power—“You are NOT the boss of me!) and the way it was stubbornly, arrogantly, and unashamedly all up in my face (and my bidness), absolutely refusing to be bullied or humiliated into leaving.
Ah yes! The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be converted from one form to another!!
It suddenly occurred to me that this Fear was just as miserable as I was; and, like me, was longing for a vibrational promotion. And the only way for that to happen was for me to willingly embrace it and take it with me. I found a bit of compassion for that poor, helpless bit of energy and invited it to come along with me on a journey to the High Places. I even took it by its trembling hand…
And that’s how I was transformed into Her Playfulness… with me joyfully putting myself out there, fully supported by Fear who had transformed into Trust, becoming my rock of support.
Thank you, Hannah Hurnard, for putting this concept of energy conversion into story form… long before I could even understand what a powerful truth you were sharing. Your story has saved me… many times over.