Thursday, September 1, 2011

Leap and the Net Will Appear

My heart races as I lay awake at night, suddenly tormented with anxiety about the direction my life is taking. Uncertainty is now my ally. Weakness also begs for my friendship. Doubt has moved in and wants to rule my life and take control. They feed me discouraging thoughts and make me second guess my decisions about moving into unknown territory. In a panic, I ask myself, “What am I thinking by giving stuff away and storing away the rest, packing up and moving someplace new with absolutely no guarantees, relying on the generosity of friends for a place to stay temporarily? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I don’t find a job? What if I can’t come back? What if . . .”

Momentarily plagued by negative “what if” scenarios, I then remember something Julia Cameron said, “Leap and the net will appear.” For a brief instance, this comforts and reassures me. Then I imagine jumping off a cliff and experiencing sheer panic when I realize that there is no net and I’ve just jumped off a freaking cliff to plummet to my death. What an idiot! I shake this disturbing vision from my head before I even see whether a net had appeared instead of basking in the sense of freedom. I could have imagined flying through the air, gracefully diving into the ocean below, slicing through the water like a knife before swimming back to the surface, feeling exhilarated and reeling in the adrenalin rush of doing the impossible. Instead, I gave in to my fears and imagined a rocky pit of death awaiting me at the bottom.

“What if . . .”

How can two little words hold such power over anyone? There are no guarantees in life. No matter what decisions I make, risk will always be a factor to some degree. My brief struggles with Uncertainty, Weakness, and Doubt make me realize that I really don’t want their kind of friendship. I know that they would drain every last bit of life right out of me like vampires if I let them, never giving me anything in return. I’d much rather think of them as acquaintances who merely drop in from time to time and make me appreciate my life. What I need now is to spend more time with my real friends – Confidence, Enthusiasm, and Courage – as I embark on my new adventure. I can’t let negative thoughts derail my plan, and I can’t allow myself to be lured onto a safer path.

Choosing to do something seemingly less impulsive just because it’s more comfortable would defeat the purpose of diving into the unknown. My life needs some shaking up. I can’t abandon my dreams. A safe detour might feel more secure on the surface; however, if I choose a more cautious route, I could be visited by others like Regret, Disappointment, and Dissatisfaction – and I really don’t like spending any time with them at all. I have to trust that I’m making the right decision. Easy, Simple, and Comfortable will find me eventually and I’m sure that we’ll become good friends some day. In the meantime, I have to take a leap of faith and trust that everything will all turn out just fine.

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