The morning drill was the always the same. My father would come to my room and as he whipped back the covers with a flourish he would say in a much too loud voice for a sleeping child, Rise & Shine! I hated it. I was sleepy and warm and I didn’t want to get out of bed. Why? What awaited me? School. Riding a big yellow bus where I usually stood, holding onto a stack of books (no backpacks in those days) fearful of sitting next to one of the popular kids who didn’t like me, going to sit in a classroom with a bunch of other kids, struggling over numbers and formulas on a blackboard, feeling inferior to my classmates. I wanted to stay under the covers and not have to deal with it. It was easier.
Ever since those days, whenever I heard the phrase Rise & Shine I always remembered those mornings when I was rousted out of a warm bed, taken from a snuggly safe spot and thrust into the world where I felt scared and uncertain. It was a negative feeling for me. Until today. What changed? Let me tell you.
I was reading a book titled, “How to Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get to Heaven” by Dr. John F. DeMartini. A dear lady recommended I get this book after a very brief telephone conversation a few months ago. Although she didn’t know me well, she knew that the book would make a difference. Even over the phone. Some things are hard to hide. Trusting her implicitly, I ordered the book. In one particular passage under a section labeled “Cause” he writes, “If you don’t have something challenging and fulfilling to awaken for in the morning, you won’t rise and shine. When I first saw those words on the page – rise and shine, I felt them in an entirely different way than I ever had before. Instead of the emotions being tied to something negative – being forced from my cozy, safe bed each morning, the covers striped off me, I immediately imagined a little sun bright and yellow and happy. Then, I imagined myself as that little sun – rising and shining and spreading that sunshine around to others who are in the dark. I saw my father – the ogre who forced me out of bed each morning – as someone who loved me enough that he wanted me to rise and SHINE – he was, even though I didn’t see or understand it, showing me that the day was waiting for me and if I didn’t go out there and shine I might as well have stayed in bed.
This morning when I first awakened, I heard those words in my head and I felt a renewed energy and excitement for life. Instead of yawning and wishing I could just sleep a little longer, I saw that little yellow sun beaming with a smile, radiating warmth and love. I felt the little sun deep in my belly and I knew that it had been there for a very long time.