"If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try"

  • Jeff Godin

From the dirt path, I approach my destination. A cliff which appears to be about 25 feet high. Not much to some but impossible to others. "I thought about you last night," I tell the cliff. "You've been waiting for me for a while, haven't you?"

Like every difficult decision I've had to make in the last few years, this cliff lingers and taunts me. But I know that once that jump is made, once I make that decision, I will be free. Free from every self-doubt and insecurity that has held me back.

I am not a spontaneous being. I never have been. Controlled decisions and plans put my mind at ease. I've lived most of my life worrying about the what-ifs and how-to's. The straight and narrow path has always been easier for me. I must throw all of that away as I meet this cliff. She tells me, "take me for what I am, look at me however you want, but I'm not moving"

I approach her edge and look down. "Such a far fall for such a tiny girl" she says. "Are you sure you are ready for this?" "Yes," I whisper. I am ready. No, I'm not. Yes, maybe I am....If I don't jump, I will be disappointed in myself. And if I jump, who knows what will happen.

Every part of my body is telling me no but every part of my mind is telling me yes. Who is connecting to who? I feel my bones quiver and my finger tips going numb. Am I really going to pass out? All I can really do is put my hand over my heart and try to stop it from beating out of my chest. I feel better wrapping my arms around my body. It's as if I'm going to try and save myself.

I am drawn closer to her edge and she knows this. Her glistening waters invite me by dancing at her base. I look out beyond the edge of the cliff and all that surrounds me is beautiful. Every deep breath that I take reassures me that it will be ok. This is not new to me, so why is it so difficult?

The conversations with myself have always been an indication of where I am at mentally. There was a time when jumping was almost impossible. It was an obstacle course apparatus that I 'had' to jump off of. I remember staring at the water beneath me and I froze. All I could think about was how I couldn't do it. The voices of past judgements crept into my mind. Finally, the lifeguard said "just jump" and I hesitantly dropped off the edge. I jumped but I did not feel free afterwards because I allowed my issues to shatter me.

Today is different. I am a new person and I am strong. The light breeze that comes through whispers "yes, yes you are." I take one last deep breath, count to three, and jump.

I know I must keep my feet together as I stare at the water beneath me. It feels as though I'm falling forever and I can feel the force of the fall tingling in my stomach. For once, I am ok with being out of control. Nothing is planned and my body is no longer mine. I hit the water free of injury. As I am underwater, I can feel the bullshit shedding from my skin. The water is cold but I feel as if I am being woken up and the seconds of silence is soothing.

As I reach the surface and pop out of the water for a breath, I can't help but smile. It feels as though I've cleansed my soul of all that was no longer needed. It's as if I took every doubt, insecurity and negativity and threw it out into the universe and dissolved the rest as soon as I hit the water. The waters are now hugging me with joy and the sun is kissing my cheeks. I look around and then look up at the cliff, and she's smiling back at me. I am free.