“I’d risk the fall to know how it feels to fly…” – Alicia Keys
As a kid, the scariest thing to me was falling down. My parents always warned me to be careful: Don’t fall down.
So, we move through life with this ingrained in us. Don’t fall, you’ll hurt yourself. We grow up scared of pain and afraid of failure. We’re told not to run down the hall or climb too high on the tree. Watch out…Falling is painful.
Over time, our own voice takes over to protect us. Eventually, it prevents us from trying. We play it safe. We stop taking risks. We hold back.
But what if all along the best lesson we could have been taught is to jump?
What if scars were something we wore proudly as an exhibition of our courage?
Maybe perfection should become the flaw. Our scratches, bruises and callouses are really a visible indicator of our fight, our decision to keep moving forward, and our nudge to course-correct when we misstep.
Recently, after reuniting with an industry friend of mine, I jumped suddenly in excitement, immediately feeling a pop in my right calf. My over-exuberance caused me to tear the muscle, which two months later has kept me walking with a substantial limp.
Embarrassingly, I hobble along and continually shake my head… That was so dumb, I can’t believe I so stupidly injured myself. Rather than shaming, could it be a reminder that relationships are what I value most in life? My connection to people creates so much energy in me, my physicality can’t pace.
Our healing wounds should be celebrated for what they symbolize…We felt, we cared, we went for something.
What if we tried things we knew we’d fail at because defeat was the only way we could truly learn?
Going for what you already know you’re good at doesn’t grow you. The audacious challenge, the one that keeps you up in late night insomnia, the one that haunts you when you try to tell yourself you don’t want it… That’s the one to listen to.
If it scares you, it will bring something unexpected in you. It will push you to explore a deeper truth and stretch your capacity to a further edge.
Rather than being defined by achievements, we should be praised for the number of times we were willing to try something, moved with uncertainty and boldly put ourselves out there. What more could we have accomplished if we only tried more often? Leaving the training wheels on will never set us free to stand upright and propel ourselves through the wind.
What if we weren’t scared to love because we realized that falling is the only time we let go enough to fully be us?
Because falling wildly, passionately in out-of-control love is the unrehearsed love…The kind of love that epic stories are founded from and that books seek to encapsulate. This pulse-racing type of love is raw and unfiltered, its unpredictability shakes us and opens new chambers in our hearts.
We’re whisked away from routines and sometimes logic. We follow emotion and unite with a layer of our truth.
When we allow our arms to be pulled over our heads and surrender to another soul, we submit to the moment where we can truly feel. We find all the things we thought mattered–control, power, structure–don’t matter after all. We are liberated.
When the makeup wears away and we are truly seen in the filtered light of the morning…This is where we reveal our most vulnerable, naked selves. We’re found.
We reprimand ourselves for falling too fast, for giving too much and for exposing too openly. Instead, we should applaud the unmasking of another and earnestly desire the same for ourselves. Without the stretching love of another to lift us out of our orchestrated comfort, we lose the chance to have our hearts unchained.
Giving in to uncertainty, we unveil possibility.
What if we begged the universe for our next challenge because we wanted the push and wanted to explore ourselves more completely?
What if instead of being afraid of falling; we feared not trying, of regret that we didn’t step out, of undiscovered lessons?
Falling is beautiful. It’s where we become abandoned and free. We run through the field as fast as we can with our chest open to the sky. We blindly leap backwards in the bouncy-house. We jump into his arms to be caught.
We trust not only that the fall won’t break us, but that we need the fall for what it will make of us. We become naïve to fear and oblivious of caution.
Like the trapeze artist who has bravely pulled off the safety ropes, we catapult through the air, trusting the swing and the rhythm to guide us.
Yes, falling should be a celebration. We unwrap the gift of the unexpected teacher. We give ourselves the opportunity to uncover new talents, delve in new experiences and dance to new victories.
Be awkward. Let your hair get messy.
Jump…And enjoy the ride.