This morning there was a small bird in our gym, flying around unable to find his way to the open door. This gym is round with all glass walls, so he kept flying into the glass.
Thud… flutter flutter…
It broke my heart, watching his struggle. I just wanted to be able to tell him that he’d be ok, that we’d get him outta there.
The gym owner was trying to catch him with a big ole towel, but no luck (even when the bird took a walk under the treadmills).
Eventually in one of his flights, the little guy conked himself into a daze. I dashed over there and scooped him up. His little eyes were closed, but heartbeat felt strong, ohthankgod. (My wife asked later, “Was there any blood?” No. In case you wondered.)
I carried him outside, stroking his soft little head and whispering “It’s ok little guy, you’re ok, you’re ok.” He opened his eyes, but didn’t struggle, which concerned me.
I set him down in the little garden outside the gym, beside a purple-blooming Dianthus plant, and he just kinda leaned over so I propped him up. After telling him to hang in there, I reluctantly but with a full heart went back to my workout. It had been such a gift to get to hold the little guy and carry him to a place I guessed might comfort him in his grogginess.
When we came out of the gym about 30 minutes later, that little feathered sweetie was sitting at the same spot I left him. Just as we got close to him, he looked at me and flew off into the nearby River Birch tree. I cheered. Out loud.
Sandy shook her head, but (god bless that woman) totally grinned and said “Omg, you’re the Bird Whisperer!”
Well, ok, I may have been a little pleased with myself for infusing life (?!) into the little guy. But that’s not the point here.
The point is that it’s now 6 hours later and my heart is still wide open.
Enough so that there’s no room for fear, or disappointment, or berating self-talk, or anxiety about all I haven’t done or been for the past 43 years. And I’ve laughed more today than I have all week (in part because of Flat Stanley, but definitely fueled by an open heart).
The point is that self-healing happens in the care of others. Even if that “other” is a bonked-out tiny bird who got into more adventure than he could handle.
Because when you care for/about someone else, your heart unlocks and compassion shows up… in ways it’s sometimes difficult to do for yourself.
Find your care target today… and find yourself.