Rise and Shine

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.

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