"Life is like Monkey Bars"

When I was younger, I hated monkey bars. I just did not have the upper body strength to swing across the monkey bars with the same ease as my peers at the elementary school play ground. I tried. Really - I did. I would climb up one end, put my two hands on the first ring…hang for a couple of seconds, and then try to transfer my hands to the next ring. It was difficult for me. My furthest success was hanging on the second ring of the monkey bars before falling off.

"Life is like monkey bars…you gotta let go to move on" (Matt Case). When I was younger, I would clutch the ring too tightly and I was so convinced that I wasn't strong enough to move forward. I couldn't trust myself to let go, and eventually I would let go - but instead of letting go and moving forward, I would let go of the rings and just give up. Maybe if I had kept pushing myself - I could have gained the confidence to do better each time so eventually I can make it all the way to the other side of the monkey bars.
Unfortunately, there are too many people in this world in the middle of the monkey bars. They can't move forward - there's a paralyzing fear that is preventing them from letting go and climbing to the next ring. They don't have the faith to believe that they can accomplish this.
But in order to move forward, you have to be willing to let go - let go of the fears, the worries, the regrets - so you can continue forward. Sometimes we need help on the monkey bars. Children who don't have enough upper-body strength need a parent to boost them up on their shoulders so they can finish climbing the monkey bars and have a sense of accomplishment.
In life - who gives you the boost so you can have extra hands guiding you on your journey? Is it an encouraging friend? A supportive spouse? Loving family members? Maybe you think you don't have anyone in your life who help you, but remember that when you feel alone - God is always there. He is the invisible wind underneath your wings that can help you soar above the monkey bars if you wanted to do so.
"You can't move forward to the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one."
Re-reading the last chapter in your life can become an unhealthy addiction without you realizing it. Some people become obsessive about analysing everything that has ever happened to them and wondering what went wrong, trying to decipher where the breaking point was in relationships, or attempting to figure out the moment where they gave up on their goals. Some people keep dwelling on the mistakes they made - and they use these memories as a template for what their future will be.
But mistakes are not a template for your future - they can be lessons, experiences from which to gain wisdom, and arrows on the broken road leading you to where you were meant to be.
Life was not intended to be spent in the past or afraid of the future - life is a forward-moving journey. And if you must look back on the footsteps you left behind - look back with nostalgia and wisdom.
So break out of your emotional prison. Turn the page to the next chapter in your life. Hold hands with hope and strength, and move on to the next ring in the monkey bars. 


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