May 5, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! One night last week, things were extremely idle at work, so we were playing fetch with our blind coworker’s guide dog. As one of the guys was trying to rescue the dog’s toy while attached to his headset, he remarked, "Bet Mallie wonders why we wear these funny leashes!" At the time, I just laughed along with everybody else, but then I started thinking. Don’t we all wear leashes of some kind or other?

What is a leash? It is a device used to restrain and control. Not all leashes are as obvious as the cords attached to our headsets at work. Even Mallie doesn’t usually wear a visible leash—instead, she wears a harness that she uses to guide her person.

There are many different kinds of "people leashes." And, ultimately, we alone choose which leashes to wear. Some leashes are made out of love; others are made out of duty or a sense of responsibility or even a need to put food on the table. Children are controlled with a "leash" of discipline. If they are raised right, when they are adults, they will be able to control themselves with self-applied "leashes," otherwise known as self-discipline.

Leashes can be good or bad. A good leash provides security. It keeps a dog—or a child—from running out in the road and being hit by a car. It also keeps him from tangling with something too big for him to deal with. When it is controlled by an adult, it acts as a guide and a training tool while a dog or child learns what he needs to know to become a productive member of his family and society in general. It keeps a person from saying something to a loved one that he would later regret. It keeps an employee from telling off his boss and losing his desperately needed job. It provides the self-discipline needed to survive in this world. Good leashes are love, self-discipline, common sense, maturity, a sense of responsibility.

A bad leash, on the other hand, confines a person and holds him back. It keeps him from reaching his full potential. It keeps a dog from escaping from an attacking dog or an annoying child. It ties one to a bad job or an unhealthy relationship. It ties a person down when he is ready to move on, to advance. Bad leashes are fear, insecurity, guilt, lack of self-confidence.

Are your leashes good or bad? Are they anchoring you, or holding you back? Do they restrain you from doing something you shouldn’t, or prevent you from doing something you should? Do you see the difference? Mallie’s invisible leash of love and training gives her the freedom to race far beyond the confines of a physical leash, but brings her back the minute her person calls her. Now that’s a good leash!

Wyndspirit Dreams