Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Leap is the Thing
A girl happened upon a cliff one day. She had heard stories of a cliff, passed down through the generations. Her mother and grandmother told her about it, but dared not go themselves. They said that the beauty of it was hidden beneath the clouds, but it was rumored to be an amazing place full of peace and serenity. There were soaring mountains, exciting waterfalls, and flowering meadows. Every kind of tree and flower flourished, and there was an abundance of wonderful things to eat. All needs were filled.
The girl remembered these stories as she peered over the side. Magnificent clouds blocked her view. Soft pinks, blues and greens billowed around her. She thought this must be a place of magic and beauty. Doubt crept up behind her and said, "Girl, don't jump in there. Even though it looks wonderful, there are probably briers and sharps thorns waiting for you below the clouds. I doubt you have the skills necessary to thrash through your obstacles. Don't do it."
Years passed and the girl became a young woman. One day, she came upon the same cliff. The rainbow-colored clouds glowed with a golden light. The wind offered glorious odors -- indescribable fragrances she never encountered before. Again, she wanted to see what was below the clouds; the colors and smells enticed her. Fear stood beside her and warned, "Don't do it! I promise, you'll regret it! There might be wild animals with sharp teeth and claws waiting to kill you. This is not the place for you." The young woman felt Fear's icy fingers on her shoulder and she shuddered as she left the cliff.
As the woman grew older, she learned many lessons and truths, about herself and others. Lessons that made her strong and gave her courage. Her truth lived inside her and was as real to her as a hug from a trusted friend. She searched for the cliff, struggling to find the path. Fear and Doubt followed her, but at a distance. At times, she could barely see them at all. Yet, she persevered until she came to the place she had been before. A glance over the side proved that nothing had changed the beauty or allure. Ethereal music swelled and filled her spirit.
Faith appeared and stood quietly beside her. The woman looked at her, surprised. "I have been to this cliff before and wanted to descend. Where were you then?"
Faith spoke: "I've been here all along, but you couldn't see me. Fear and Doubt followed you everywhere, and you allowed it. Until now...."
The woman stood taller and felt a growing resolve within her.
"But...," the woman began.
Faith held up her hand to quiet the woman, then continued. "The leap is the thing. Take me with you and trust. You will either land on solid ground, or be given the wings with which to fly."
The woman closed her eyes, imagining the delights that lay before her, and joined hands with Faith.
And she leapt.
I wrote this spiritual fable fifteen years ago. I was struggling with -- you guessed it! -- Fear and Doubt -- and writing helped me work shit out. I still have fear and doubt today, which is why this year's theme is COURAGE. I have scads of both surrounding this blog alone (any of my writing, actually)! Am I wasting my time? Do I have something to say? Does anybody really even give a shit??? If you do, follow me, like me, tell your friends, call, send flowers -- something -- so that I can know I'm loved and appreciated. Actually that's a joke, sort of, because I truly believe I have to get those "props" from within myself; I'll always be disappointed if I expect it (especially MY way) from other humans. Lady and Duchess, however, are ever-flowing fountains of unconditional love and acceptance. Which is why I have dogs in the first place. Screw security and companionship. Gimme some looooooove!
Still, wouldn't it be great if I could really ask for crap like that, in person, face-to-face, without wanting to puke? More fear and doubt (although not as intrusive as Fear and Doubt).
I (sorta) can here since I don't know some of my followers (thank you for the validation, by the way!).
I'm better than I was, certainly, but obviously still struggling with fear and doubt. I came by some of it honestly -- passed down by older generations (especially Depression Era seniors. I once knew a lovely woman who had more money than God and a nine carat diamond ring, and re-used cocktails napkins. That's fear, not frugality, my friends. There's a difference!). Some of my fears and doubts were lovingly hand-made, crafted over a lifetime of people-pleasing and negative self-talk. Some fears (especially the ancient ones that have been growing within me for years!) return over and over again until I am courageous enough to face them. Today, I do my level best to walk in Faith, certain of the truth that my God loves me and wants only the best for me. And when fear and doubt rear their ugly heads, I beat them back, relying on the experience I have gained by looking for the positive in every situation, by acknowledging my fears, and doing whatever-it-is ANYWAY.
Take faith with you and LEAP!
Do you struggle with these two nemesises (nemises? nemisi?)...enemies? Sorry. Apparently I'm channeling Porky Pig. Back to the questions: What, specifically, do you struggle with that holds you back from achieving your highest and best? And, more importantly, what can you do differently to combat it? When was the last time you faced your fears and moved forward in spite of them?
Have you been there?