Learning to Leap in Life/Love

9 10 2013
Photo: Oprah.com

Photo: Oprah.com

“Your belief in love wasn’t strong enough to overcome your fear of rejection.”

“Yea. Greatest regret of my life.”

– Exchange between two characters on Once Upon a Time

My mom gives great advice and usually, because she’s very southern and very New Orleans, it comes in the form of old sage sayings that sound funny at first, but make a whole lot of sense later. Such is the case with one saying she’s fond of repeating to me when I’m trying to make a hard decision (after she’s given me a great Bible verse too, of course) — she’ll say to me, “Now, whatever you do —  don’t jump from the pot to the frying pan.”

Sounds funny, but I get it. It means don’t move without purpose and find yourself leaving something you thought was bad and then ending up in something even worse.

Great advice. Really.

But somehow, I internalized this as simply “don’t jump.” And so typically, I am very cautious and methodical in the things that I do. I follow specific steps and observe and analyze and dissect almost all of my decisions and then at the very last possible minute, I finally stick my toe out there into the wading pool of whatever scary idea it is that I’ve concocted. And when nothing but my toe gets wet, even though – ugh, I put myself out there! – it sends another “don’t jump” signal straight to my brain.

But, here’s the crazy part — I never (or rather, very rarely) ever actually tried leaping into something passionately, full throttle, no life jacket on to protect me, so I couldn’t say for sure that jumping hurt as much as I thought it did.

In my brain, dipping my toe in and not getting what I wanted hurt so much that leaping was unimaginable. And I’ve missed out on things because of this.

The truth, though, is that leaping (passionately, full throttle, with no life jacket on) is what those big dreams thrive on. It’s what faith (in God and the promises He’s made to you) is all about. I’m learning that these days.

This lesson started as a lot of my lessons have this year, with me almost losing a very dear friend of mine in January. With being inspired by her faith and the leap it took for her to hold on when all odds were against her. With the jump it took for me and a significant amount of her friends and family to refuse to believe God’s plan for her life was complete. And with the passion that I still see her take on everything in her life to this day, even when her days are not so good.

When a friend of yours almost dies and still struggles, but has the faith to jump into the things that make her happy,  it makes you start to see things more clearly in your own life. At least it did for me. It made me realize that I needed to stop running from… everything, that I needed to make sure I was allowing myself to be happy even while I pursued my big dreams, that it was high time I lived life fully, and oh so many more revelations.

Now, I have to admit that this leaping thing is still scary as shit sometimes. Being open. Vulnerable. Really truly going for what and who you want – whew! – it’s not for the faint of heart. It feels like (to keep this metaphor going) you’re getting ready to dive into the deepest part of the ocean when you haven’t swam in 20 years. It can make you hesitate sometimes. It can make you think about just putting a toe in to check out the waters first.

But then, thankfully, I remember that as purely frightening as leaping can be, I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier than when I’m doing it. And so some part of me screams back to those doubts — “That ain’t no ocean! It’s a 6ft pool; it just seems bigger because it’s unfamiliar. But girl, you got this. JUMP!”

And so I do. I constantly find myself jumping these days… leaping… refusing to have the regret of not moving for fear of rejection. All I know is that damn frying pan better get out of my way.

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10 responses

9 10 2013
29tolife

I’m over here like YES TO ALL OF THAT. You shouldn’t be taking risks all of the time or all willy nilly. But when you keep feeling that pull towards something, someone and idea a dream a goal. I think there’s a reason and ignoring it is the worst.

9 10 2013
dbaham

YES! That’s exactly it! I’m soooooo glad you got it :)… here’s to us leaping when we feel that pull.

9 10 2013
brenda

This post was right on time girl! Like 29tolife said, yes to all of this!

9 10 2013
dbaham

Thanks Brenda!!! And you already KNOW what I think you should be leaping on lol… *nudge, nudge*

9 10 2013
brenda

LOL. Believe me when I tell you, I can hear you in my head. I know, I’m still out here with my big toe in the water. Thanks for the nudge, its much appreciated. 🙂

9 10 2013
dbaham

hahahahaaha great! I expect to hear great results when you decide to throw a leg in there too! 🙂

13 10 2013
Blu

I am here for this. I’ve been dipping my big toe in and out of the water for the past few months and I really want to take the leap. But, what do you do when the leap of a lifetime, which will be best for you, is at the expense of others or hurts others? That’s the downside of what I’m feeling.

15 10 2013
dbaham

Hmmmm, that’s a really tough spot to be in, and I certainly don’t envy you. But I would say (not knowing what you’re planning to leap into, of course) that if it’s on your heart to do it, then the people in your life who are supposed to be there will respect that decision and continue to love you through it. And if you believe in prayer – I’d also say to pray on it and make sure it’s really something that’s on your heart for the right reasons. If that’s the case — then you have to eventually jump or you won’t be happy.

10 07 2014
Vulnerability and Asking for What You Need | Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] of “being vulnerable.” (I also usually think of pure dread and tend to equate it to jumping into a waterfall head first with no life jacket, but you know that’s just me, and I’m a work in […]

24 03 2015
You Can’t Leap and Stand Still At the Same Time | Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] when I wrote this blog post about leaping? Well guess what — surprise, surprise — I haven’t really been living like that. […]

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