A man was hiking through the forest when he heard a rustling sound. He turned and saw a mountain lion eighty feet behind him. The animal cast hungry eyes upon the hiker and made a threatening growl. The hiker took off at top speed running deeper and deeper into the woods.
He spotted an opening in the trees. Running through it, he went over the edge of a cliff. As he fell, he caught hold of a small tree growing from the side of the mountain. Under his weight, the limbs began to crack. The hiker looked up and saw the lion licking his chops. He looked down at the bottomless abyss. He knew in moments he’d plummet to his death. There was no place to go, nothing left to do but pray.
He raised his eyes to the sky and cried, “God, if you’re up there, help me. I haven’t been much of a believer, but if you’re there, I’m begging you, tell me what to do.”
There was a crack of thunder and then God’s Voice bellowed from the heavens: “Let go, my child.”
The man looked down at the abyss, up at the hungry mountain lion, raised his eyes to the sky once more and yelled, “Is anybody else up there?”
Fear of Falling
We are all hikers through the forest of life. Just when we think we know the territory and feel safe, something appears to push us over the edge, past our comfort zone. The tendency is to grab onto the old and familiar and hold on for dear life. We feel ourselves falling off a cliff and fear there is no place to go except down. But there is another alternative.
“Come to the cliff,” the Papa Bird said to his babies.
“No, no,” they cried. “Come to the cliff,” he said.
“We are afraid,” they cried.
“Come to the cliff,” he commanded.
They came. He pushed them. They flew.
Every stage of life requires jumping off a cliff. Whether we fall or fly depends on our willingness to let go of the familiar and enter the unknown. The Law of the Vacuum applies to the mind as well as nature: opposite things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Love and hate cannot coexist, happiness and sadness, trust and fear, hope and despair, holding on and letting go. We can’t cling to the past, base our identity on former achievements, be bound by the familiar, and be fully alive, learning and growing in the present.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. Anais Nin
The Forward Force of Life
Life is growth, and growth requires change. We are changing every day, every hour, every second. Each thought that passes through your mind changes the configuration of the brain and affects your emotional and physical state. Resistance to change is resistance to life, and…
RESISTANCE CAUSES PAIN!
There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Resisting the natural changes and stages of life is like trying to hold back a raging river. You’ll drown unless you go with the flow. To grow, you have to be willing to let go of the old and embrace the great unknown that lies ahead.
Courage does not mean that we jump off the cliff without fear. It means we jump in spite of it.
Life will push us forward, whether we like it or not. Whatever our mountain lion may be, whatever pushes us over the edge of the cliff, we should be grateful for it. If it were not for that push, we might never let go, and if we don’t let go, we won’t grow.
Adapted from: Make the Best of the Rest of Your Life