A Leap of Faith

To jump, or not to jump……

Poised on the edge

You are poised at the edge of a high diving board.  No one has told you the proper way to jump or dive from a board this high, and yet, you are expected to jump.  Fear courses through your body as your mind frantically runs through all the scenarios of how you could die from a dive this high.  At the same time, you anticipate the intense excitement of trying something so completely new and challenging, and you know how great you would feel if you could accomplish this amazing feat.  And as you experience this rollercoaster of emotions, your anticipatory anxiety is ramping up your stress response, making your hands and feet sweat, and your body shake. Now you are afraid that you will lose all bodily control and actually FALL off the high dive.

OK.  Let’s now step back from this scene and take a few deep breaths to calm ourselves down.  This experience actually happened to me back in high school.  It was a requirement in my gym class to at least jump (as opposed to dive) off of the high dive.  I was terrified. The situation was made worse because, on that particular day, my mom (a gym teacher) was substituting for that class.  I couldn’t lose face in front of her, but I was convinced that I would die if I took one step off of that board.

As it turned out, I did jump off that board, and I didn’t die (obviously), but I did, somehow, end up jamming my knee into my lip, causing a really nice cut in my lip that required a trip to the nurse’s office.  But I survived.  And in the end, I was proud of my ability to take that leap.  It was a leap of faith.

ignoring your inner voiceThe voices of fear

When we are children, we are often described as fearless (or reckless in some cases).  But as we get older (even high school age), we often succumb to external influences which pressure us to conform.  We hear the voices of our parents, relatives, and friends telling us what is OK, and what is not.  Our communities (sometimes geographical, but more often cultural, social and religious) often make it clear about what is acceptable, and what is not.  And these conditional voices also tell us that there will be negative consequences if we don’t listen to them.

And there is always our internal judge, of which we may not even be consciously aware, and therefore, unable to hear. But it is there.

These are all the voices of fear.

Believe me when I say that I am not making a sweeping statement to disregard all of these voices that are either whispering or shouting at us “for our own good”.  Sometimes, those voices are very practical, trying to keep us safe.  Often they are perspectives to be considered. But there are so many times when we allow those voices to drown out that other voice inside of us, a voice that is sometimes so quiet that we have to really strain to hear it.  It is the voice of our intuition, our inspiration, our genius.  It is the voice that says “THIS is what I was MEANT to do”, or “THIS is what I NEED to do”.

Trusting our intuition

LeapWe have to work very hard to trust and have faith in that inner voice of intuition, because it really is telling us what we need to hear.  We can listen to all of the other voices out there, but in the end, our intuition is the most honest voice we can listen to.

So let us visit a virtual precipice this time. We are standing at the edge, dying to make the jump into what we know inside is the right thing to do, and we are hearing the voices of reason, and doubt, and fear telling us to play it safe and stay on firm ground.  We can listen to those voices and never experience the joy of trying something new or exciting, or just something that feels right.  We can remain stuck in place, wanting to make a change, but afraid of where it might take us.  Or we can take a breath, acknowledge those voices, and then listen to our intuition.  We can be still and meditate to connect with that intuition.  We have the choice.  We can take a leap of faith.

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Posted in Your Personal Journey

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