The children’s book, Goodnight Moon, written by Margaret Wise Brown always did a good job putting ME to sleep when reading it to my kids years ago. Having bought a copy for my nephew, I paged through it. In addition to a flood of memories and a tear or two, it occurred to me that much can be learned from this wonderful, meditative treasure.
The little rabbit in the book does everything he can to avoid going to sleep. He delays the process by saying “goodnight” to everything. Eventually there is nothing left to say “goodnight” to – among others, he covers the moon, stars, air and noises. The cadence in the book by that point is one of complete surrender. And he gives in (and so do we).
This made me think of the power of fear and how we build our lives in avoidance of it (just as the rabbit avoids sleep). Surrendering to our fears and facing them are two different things, but both important in the process of overcoming. To surrender to fear means to accept it (yes, this is scary), but here’s the kicker – it’s OK to be afraid. Embrace it. Once the acceptance or surrender has taken place, the power shifts from fear to you. Without the help or safety net of the old woman whispering, “hush”.