There’s a classic scene in the movie Labyrinth where the young protagonist, Sarah, solves a riddle and chooses a door she think will lead her out of a maze. On the other side of the door is a tunnel full of hands. As she falls down the tunnel, the hands catch her. They are “helping hands after all!” Holding her in the tunnel, the hands ask Sarah what direction she would like to go, up or down.
Going up holds less risk for Sarah, as she knows where she’s been. There’s more certainty for her above, but it will lead back into the same maze she wanted escape from in the first place. Going deeper into the tunnel opens her up to more danger and greater risk. What could await her deeper in the tunnel, a dead end, a dungeon cell, iron spikes ready to impale her? She has no idea.
Regardless, Sarah makes the choice to fall deeper into the tunnel. She let’s go and decides to brave the uncertainties of the tunnel, in the hope that it will lead her closer to the labyrinth’s exit.
There’s a great song by Fou Fou called, “Let Go.” My favorite lyric in the song is “…you’re writing your tragedy / These mishaps / You bubble-wrap / When you’ve no idea what you’re like…So let go…there’s beauty in the breakdown.”
The labyrinth tunnel is like a many breakdowns we all have. We find ourselves stuck in an experience where we can either resist and try to force things to go back the way they were and maintain the same undesirable state, or we can go further into a new experience.
When we risk ourselves to the unknown and brave whatever might come our way, we actually open ourselves up to greater opportunities to express the greatness that resides within us. When we breakthrough our breakdowns grow stronger and wiser, with a greater confidence in ourselves to overcome even larger challenges.
So, the next time you’re faced with a moment that threatens to upend your current safety zone, welcome the opportunity! You never know what amazing things await you on the other side, until that is, you make the choice to pass through.
Where are you in your own personal tunnel? What could you gain by choosing to let go and see what’s on the other side?
“Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.” ― Unknown