It’s only normal to want to hold on to things we love. Whether it be your favorite shirt, a prized computer, or a relationship, it is in our nature to keep things close to us for as long as we can. We think we have complete control of our lives. But what if these things let go first?
When the unexpected happens, no one is prepared. We tell ourselves things like, “I didn’t choose this… I didn’t want this.” But we forget that we aren’t always in control of the rope repelling us down. We hold on, not wanting to fall. Not wanting to get hurt. We believe that as long as we hold on, everything will be ok in the end. But when the rope suddenly snaps and we fall, hitting the ground, it takes us a while to get over the shock. We tend to lay on the ground, paralyzed with the fear that fails to escape our very being. “That didn’t just happen to me.” “I’m still in control.” If you’ve ever fallen from a mentionable height, you’d know that it takes a while to get your bearings after you have hit the earth. The rope was your safety. But the rope isn’t supporting you anymore. It takes a while to loosen your grip around the rope, now connected to nothing. It takes a while to realize that you have made it to the ground.
Relief floods into you. As you start to gain your strength back, you begin to walk. “Everything’s ok now. That will probably never happen again.” You slowly regain your confidence… until you see the next rope. You realize that you in fact haven’t actually reached the ground, but rather just another cliff that is closer to the ground.
I’m pretty sure the majority of us have been in this type of scenario. You have just fallen from one of life’s many cliffs, scared to move onto the next one. Scared to fall again. And again. Your trust in the rope is lost. You don’t want to experience the rope snapping, and therefore you just don’t descend at all. We’ve all reached a standstill like this in our lives. We’ve all experienced the nervousness to move on.
It’s ok to take a break–to take a rest. It’s ok to be scared. But after a while, we have to ask ourselves “How much longer are we going to wait?” Yes, different people take different amounts of time to get back their courage–to get past the hesitation. But the sun waits for no one… day will turn into night, and we will have missed our chance. Sure, the next day will come around. But what are the chances we’ll wait for the next day after that? And then the day after that? Our excuses become our normal. The cliff side becomes our new ‘ground.’
We end up telling ourselves that this is the ‘new us.’ That this is our ‘new life.’ We ignore the next rope, letting it slowly decay.
We fear the unknown.
But even when staying on the cliff seems like a good idea at the time, it soon becomes obvious that exploring the rest of the world is impossible. The cliff becomes our everything–an ‘everything’ that cannot be broken until we choose to descend the rest of the way down. It’s only when we choose to leave that cliff that we can try and live our lives to their fullest extent.
There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable, but there will most likely come a time where you will have to ask yourself “Is this it? Or am I being called for something greater?”
And when that time comes, I encourage you to grab hold of that next rope. Explore the world, and do not be contained to a single cliff. Live your life without being chained down by your fear of falling. Reach the ground, and be proud of all your cuts and bruises you accumulated on the descent. Look up, and be proud of the journey… your journey.
Let go of that rope, and move on.