There are so many different things that I have learned over the years in my life. How to say no. How to let go. How to feel connected to the people and world around me. How to love myself and know that it is okay to put me first. How to grieve; how to laugh.
One of the hardest lessons for me in life has been being self-protective. For me, to dive in to the water, head first, has always been how I have conducted the business of my life. Now, that does not always have to be a bad thing. But, what has made it challenging in the past, is that I have dove into the water not knowing how deep or shallow it is; I have gone head first into situations, saying “yes” before I ask any questions. Giving fully of my time before I realize how far I will be overextended. Giving of my heart, freely and willingly, before I know how much of myself I am sacrificing without getting it back.
In my present life, right now today at this moment, there are so many things different about those past scenarios. First of all, I ask A LOT of questions now. Even if I do say yes to a commitment of some sort, it is not without asking all of the vital questions: how much, how long, when, where and how. Some of those things are just aspects that can’t be known, but I have learned that I deserve to know what is in store for me, to the extent that I can know.
I also state what it is that I want, firmly and definitively. I have allowed myself to speak up, to say what I want with confidence and conviction, when in the past, I have considered what is best for the other persons involved, always before myself. I don’t know that I put only myself first all of the time, but I at least keep myself in mind from the beginning of any new endeavor or situation. I have invited my dreams back into my life; allowing myself the creative mind to imagine all of the possibilities. If I can see it, I can be it.
With my heart, I have become more wise. Not cautious. Not guarded and wary as much as realistic and prepared, as much as I can be. My heart has not only been broken in this life, it has been shattered, more than once I have to say. I know that I will have many more hard falls in this life, because when you are learning and growing and adventuring, you are bound to have some mishaps. This lesson was one of the most difficult for me to learn. Not because I didn’t have many opportunities to learn it; rather, because I have never wanted my heart and soul to become hardened in order to protect myself. My greatest fear about becoming more aware and self protective, is that it would create me into a cold, unapproachable person. I have never wanted to be that way, so in my growth and change, I needed to be able to let the love in, but also, be safe from those that would want to take the love that I have to offer it, and treat it disrespectfully.
So, during my walking and wondering in the snow yesterday, I figured it out. I used to be a person that would jump out of planes, or jump off of ledges, and hope that there was a cushion, a trampoline or safety net, that would break my fall. Often, there was not. Sure, I survived the jump, but not without damage. And tears. And complete heartache.
So, I have since put on a parachute.
My parachute is my faith, my hope, and my self -love. My parachute is multicolored and bright, and strong and sturdy and with me at all times. I don’t have to stop jumping off ledges, or jumping out of planes. I am just protected now. And, I always have a safety net on the ground, just in case, which is my family, my friends, my passion.
So, I am always equipped to save myself, but just in case, I have others, people and values, that will break my fall. This isn’t to say that I don’t feel afraid; for even with all of these protections in place, the fear of jumping into the unknown is present; in spite of that however, I also feel the thrill of jumping into my future, floating down into my destiny………..
Did you pack your parachute today?