Leap of Faith
It’s 1234 in the middle of the night and not unlike many other nights in my life, I’m awake. I can’t sleep. I could blame the loud, snoring, man in bed next to me, my husband. But is he the ultimate cause?
It feels like something else is keeping me awake. Something else is stirring within.
There’s a nauseousness to it. Maybe it’s the not-so-great Mexican food I had for dinner? But it feels deeper and more prolonged.
It’s a similar feeling to what I’ve experienced on most nights with insomnia. A sort of dull pang within. Somewhere deep within. It’s like a pit in my stomach but also a lump in my throat. Sure, there’s nausea, but not from needing to throw up food. It’s a need to release, and get something up, and out, for sure. But it’s connected to my emotions, and it's trapped within my body.
It’s a weight. Something holding me, pinning me down. I feel shackled in some invisible way. It’s hard to swallow as I feel the lump in my throat tighten. My mouth waters in that way you feel right before hurling a tremendous amount of horrible alcohol and fatty food consumed during an earlier binge.
Is this a purge? Is there something that needs to be released?
My head and my temples pulse with pressure, a dull pain behind the eyes. Pressure is definitely here. Pressure to do... and say something… yes?
Rumbling thoughts tumble out, “what are you doing?”, chirping over and over, on repeat. “what are you doing?”, “what’s the purpose?”, “what’s the point?”, “what are we doing here?”, “why?”, “for what?”, “for whom?”.
"What do you want to say?", "What do you want to do?", "Do you want to continue eeking out this floundering of a life? Or do you want to really do something?", "Do you want to really make a difference?", "Do you want to matter?", "Do you want to spark joy?", "Or just exist?", "Just get by?", "Just succumb to the torrent of daily life, being swept down the river into nothingness and oblivion???"
Is that what’s really bothering me? The fear of oblivion? The fear of not making a mark? The fear of disappearing? Of this all being for naught?
Sure, there’s definitely fear present, but that’s not quite all that’s here. What’s behind it all? What is this feeling within really trying to tell me? What does it want me to say? What does it want me to see? What do I need to understand?
There’s anger here, too. There’s also resentment.
I feel the pressure again, ensnaring me, tightening around my neck and throat.
Ok, pain – what do you have to show me? What do you have to say?
I’ve been holding myself back. I’ve been trying to hide. I’ve been trying to protect myself, and in the process, I’ve lost myself. I’ve lost my spark. I’ve lost my joy. I’ve lost my authenticity and purpose. I’ve lost the path.
Instead, I’ve followed orders. I’ve followed the rules. I did all the things that were expected. And you know what, there’s not much fun in that at all, is there?
Oh, now we’re getting somewhere. I’m starting to feel the hot sticky tears welling up behind my eyes. Now we’re getting to truth.
The knot around my heart hardens, it doesn’t trust where this exploration is leading. What is my heart protecting? What is it trying to keep safe? Have I made mistakes? Have I betrayed myself? Have I broken a promise I was supposed to keep? What do I need to see?
Oh, I wish I could see. I wish I could know where I’m supposed to go and what I’m supposed to be doing. I wish it was clear, and easy to follow, and wholesome. That’s right, wholesome. I’m looking for a path that feels squeaky clean and safe. But that’s not how life works, is it?
Ah, here come the tears, stronger and warmer now. I’m looking for soft, and protected, and safe, and cozy, but that’s not always the way of this world, of this reality. So, I’ve been stopping myself, protecting myself, not allowing myself to venture out from the doorway of my imaginary prison. It’s so much safer in here where I know what to expect, where I know what will happen, where I know I won’t rock any boats or make any mistakes.
But the air is thick, and stale, and it’s been choking me for some time. It’s no longer an environment that’s protecting me. The walls are crumbling in, and I’m being exposed, for better or for worse.
It feels exhausting. Trying so hard for so long. Trying to do the right thing, be the right version of myself. I’m worried about the messiness this crumbling will create. Messy was never allowed in that world. So how am I supposed to embrace it now?
I want to run. I want to hide. I want to crawl back into my cave and pretend some more. Pretend I don’t have to care, pretend I don’t have to do anything, pretend I don’t have anything to say. It’s so much easier that way, in the hiding. In the shadows. I don’t have any responsibilities there. I don’t have to make choices there. I can let time pass. I can wait. I can try and pretend until the time is up. It’s so much easier, right?
I can play along from that vantage point. I can toe the line. Be part of the status quo. Go with the grain.
But I was never really built for that, was I? I’ve always seen things differently. I’ve always felt differently.
If I want to be the change I want to see in the world, I have to allow, and invite change into my own life, and especially within myself. I have to be willing to change, to try something new, to break the mold of what’s been done for myself and for the world.
I have to let go and surrender and trust. I have to let go of expectations and attachments to anything and anyone. That’s where freedom truly resides. In the unknown, in the unexpected, in the free fall…
Jump without a net.
Leap without looking.
Take a leap of faith.
All you can hold on to is the faith. The faith that something bigger and better and brighter is in store.