I have been collecting quotes and sayings for years. I have boards filled with clippings. I share them on Facebook, I send them to friends. Little bits of inspiration, humor, or encouragement. Often, its one of those little nuggets, or a line from a song that inspires me to come to my computer to write.
I have several people I regularly troll for quotes. Glennon Doyle is a particular favorite. Maya Angelou another. Corrie ten Boom, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, StoryPeople, Thug Unicorn (Tanya Merkel), and, of course Brene Brown.
The other day I was working on populating (yet) another board – one for above my desk. I had some favorites I knew I wanted to include, but I am also always looking for new inspiration. And then, this.
I remember the first time I saw it. My mind zeroed in and then expanded. A single, laser focused point of consciousness whirling out to ensnare memories, thoughts, beliefs, and dreams, and then to twist them together back down to that single point.
Still, as I write this, and think about that moment, I pause and just breathe.
For, you see, I have taken a leap of faith. It can really only be called that. Parts of that leap started two and a half years ago. But the real thing, the real LEAP was almost exactly one year ago. Nearly to the day. I found out later that I should really refer to that as ‘Leap #1.’ I’m pretty sure I’m on Leap #3 at this point, but its all part of the same journey.
Once, in Mexico on my honeymoon, I jumped off a cliff. I am terrified of heights, but I did it. I think it was around 30 feet. That was 12 years ago, and I still remember the leap. And I remember the moment before the leap. I remember standing atop the cliff with other cheerful vacationers and a nice young man who wanted to take my picture so he could sell it to me for exhorbitant sums of money later on. I remember my thoughts. ‘Oh, no. No, no, no. Nope.’ Then, ‘just jump, don’t think.’ And I jumped. I took the leap. I did not listen to the voices of fear but stepped out and believed everything would be ok. And it was.
I’ve stood on a lot of ‘cliffs’ between then and now, and usually did not take the leap. I’m to careful, to unsure, and too scared to trust that things will come out all right. I’ve struggled to reconcile that with my faith. Aren’t we supposed to lay everything on God and assume that whatever happens is his will? I guess I don’t really believe that. Why would God have built us with courage, intelligence, creativity, tenacity, humor, and grit if He didn’t want us to use them. What I do believe is that we need to get quiet and listen to that ‘still small voice.’ Our inner selves. Our core. Possibly even our link to the divine. That is the path we walk in faith.
This quote was shared by Glennon Doyle in her book ‘Love Warrior.’ Its one of those pieces that whirled out and then back together. Faith isn’t a safety net that catches us gently and ensures no harm comes. Sometimes faith is the opportunity to become strong enough to face what is coming. Its getting knocked down, bruised, and beaten, and getting back up. Its knowing you got back up.
For some reason, all of this made me think of when my first child was a newborn – 10 years ago. I remember a few weeks of getting up every couple hours, and then gradually, getting up twice a night, then once. By the time he was three months old (mid December), he was basically sleeping through the night (although he did wake up at 5:30, which was still a little ridiculous). Then Christmas, and traveling to visit family. Then back to once a night. Then back to two. At the time, I felt like this would never end. In that painful, isolating (sleep-deprived) moment I would never again get a real night’s sleep. Of course, that didn’t last, and within a few weeks he was sleeping through the night again.
Fast-forward three years and my daughter came. Essentially the same story. But different in that I knew it wouldn’t last this time. I knew it FELT like it would last forever, but I also knew it wouldn’t. I worried less, and snuggled in for the ride.
This feels like that. This leap of faith that I call my new business. My calling. My path. Its starting out slow, as it must. And part of me feels it will always be this way, and that part is painful and isolating (and yes, sleep-deprived). But there is that other part. That other part that remembers that sometimes you just sit down with your discomfort and snuggle in. Keep working, keep moving, and have a little faith that this is the part thats supposed to hurt, but it will be worth it.
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