Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 2016.
I jumped off of a ledge this week. I was so scared, but I had no other option. I couldn’t turn back. I was literally pushed to the limit. I had gone through so much just to get to that point. There were many obstacles and hurdles that I had to overcome, and don’t get me started on the curveballs. I was being tested on my ability to cope and keep my balance. After overcoming the difficulties that I may not have necessarily completely enjoyed, I was inspired by my strength to persevere. I thought to myself, “I can really do this.” The nerves that originally raced throughout my body, eventually settled. Then I was put to the ultimate test. The obstacles I faced led me to a ledge. Now what? JUMP! So, I did. It took me a little while, but I was awake, aware, and present; I was paying attention. I was not the only one to jump, so I closely observed those who jumped before me. They too, were afraid. They were so afraid, that they forced themselves to manipulate the experience. Some closed their eyes. Others turned around and jumped backwards. A few tried to slide off of the ledge. They altered the authenticity of the experience, because of fear. I watched them, and I didn’t want to be like them. When it was my turn to jump, I faced forward, took a few deep breaths, held tight to my faith, and leaped with my eyes wide open. I jumped off of a ledge!
That jump was a simple reminder of the leap we’re all supposed to take when it comes to living our dreams. We’ve been put to the test. We’ve weathered the storms. We’ve either returned curveballs to sender, or began a collection. We’ve jumped over hurdles. Fell and got back up. Asked many questions, and cried many tears. We’ve overcome obstacles, on many different courses – only in preparation for the greatest and most meaningful leaps we could ever take – the leap into our dreams. The trying times are to make us stronger, more confident, and determined. Who can stop us, but us? During the jump is when it all flashes before our eyes; not our past, but our future. When I jumped, I realized that fear was left behind on that ledge. I realized that fear was actually the one afraid of jumping, not me. Fear just so happened to be tagging along with me for so long, that I thought “it” was a part of me. I tried to pressure fear into doing something it was ironically afraid of. During the jump, I felt a rush of excitement for the possibilities. There was a calm that came over me, and then the most amazing thing happened… I landed on my feet.
Step one: Have courage.
Step two: Develop a plan.
Step three: Stay focused.
Step four: Keep your balance.
Step five: Take action… and jump.
Nothing lasts forever: not the obstacle, not the jump, not even the dream. What actually lasts is the experience: it’s the journey, not the destination. It’s the story you’ll live to tell others. That there, is magic. That there, is inspiration.
The next time I go ziplinging, and I have to make it through another obstacle course, where I may assume that the zipline is the end goal, only to find out I actually have to jump off of a ledge to complete the course, before I jump (again) – I’ll think of my dreams, and I’ll remember they’re better experienced with opened eyes.