Summertime is in full swing and at our home we are living.it.up. Recently my man and I decided a fun family outing would be to rent a boat and take the kids out for a day of swimming, fun and food (always food).
We made the 90-minute drive to one of Oklahoma’s best lake spots. Earlier we had called ahead to reserve a double decker vessel, with a fun slide and a space to jump off the roof. The kids were so excited. Beyond excited.
Our older kids were ALL IN, having jumping competitions within moments of reaching our resting spot.
I was the only adult who wanted to participate in swimming so I chose to float around in the lake while the kids were making the 8-foot jump with abandon. They soon decided to make it a jumping contest as I judged the multiple rounds: who splashed the least, who held their pose the longest, and whose jump was most creative.
It looked like a blast and they all made it seem simple. I hated to be missing out, so it wasn’t long before I was hauling myself up the ladder to make the jump myself.
The only thing is…when I got to the top….it seemed, well…..kind of high. Higher than it looked from the bottom facing up. Dare I even say scary?
All of the sudden my stomach got a little twisted in knots. I tried to remember my last time on a high dive when I quickly realized it had been when I was around the kid’s age…a mere twenty years ago. What’s a few decades absence, right? Um…no. What on earth was I thinking?
I looked down at the water and tried to decide what I would do. Why was the fear suddenly making my heart beat so fast? The easy solution would be-oh no, this is higher than I thought, time to make my way back down the ladder, mission aborted.
The only problem? I’d already told the kids I’d jump, and they were watching me with anticipation.
Inside though? I was scared. Not even just a little…..a lot.
What if I didn’t hit the water right? What if it hurt? What if I accidentally panicked and did a giant belly buster? What if a ginormous owl swooped in and attacked me mid-air?? OK, so maybe the last one is a bit of a stretch, but at that point I was looking for any excuse I could create.
In that moment I had a choice. Was I going to jump, or was I going to go back down that ladder?
Friends, we have that same choice nearly daily in ways we might not even realize.
Thinking about changing careers? Thinking about starting a new routine? Thinking about developing a new relationship? Thinking about making some personal changes? Thinking about letting something or someone go?
Every single one of those things involves risk. In every single risk we are literally trudging up a ladder step by step, until we reach the ledge and decide….do we want to make the jump?
A few moments in I decided I wanted to quit over-thinking it, face my fears and make the leap. I’ve seen how short life is, and it’s entirely too short to walk away from the ledge, entirely too short to wonder later on what it would have felt like to just jump.
So jump I did.
It felt fantastic. Freeing.
The most freeing part though wasn’t flying through the air and landing in the water. The most freeing part was feeling the fear yet making the choice to still step off the ledge, even while trembling inside.
It’s so much easier to not jump. It’s the path of least resistance, the safest space.
But life is too short to live that way. In safety. With regrets. With what if’s.
My question to you today, is what leap are you afraid to make? What is the thing you’ve wanted to do but are too afraid to do it? What is burning inside of you that you can’t seem to let go of?
You know how you know what it is? It’s the first thing that popped into your mind when I asked you the question above. You will never know what it feels like to finally take the leap until you are willing to step off the ledge.
Take the leap friends. On the other side of your fear is freedom.
It’s worth it.
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