Learn to have faith, take a leap
"What if I fall?"
"Oh, my darling, what if you fly?" -- Unknown
"I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves." -- Louise Hay
As a mother of a teenager, as well as a teacher of teens, there is rarely a moment I am not witness to some form of teenage angst. Yet, I must say, it is my observation that teenagers happen to be more vocal about what is going on inside their emotional selves, whereas mature adults often share similar feelings, though manage them differently. The one universal fear in both teens and adults is the fear of failing.
"What if I don't make the team?"
"What if I don't get this job?"
"What if she says 'no' when I ask her to the dance?"
"What if my spouse stops loving me?"
"What if my friends laugh at me if I answer incorrectly in class?"
"What if I don't land this account for the firm?"
"What if there is nothing out there for me once I leave high school?"
"What if there is nothing for me but work?"
My list could go on, but I think I have made my point. We are all human. And, humans, by nature, are somewhat flawed, imperfect and often weak. Likewise, by design, humans are also resourceful, creative and spirited. It is our mind, and the way we think, that most often determines our disposition.
This past summer, I saw a road sign that said, "NO STOPPING FOR ANY REASON." Beside this sign was another that read, "4-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT." The reason for these signs was a transition point at the Outer Banks of North Carolina from a black top road to driving on and through soft beach sand. Therefore, if you stopped, four-wheel drive vehicle or not, you were likely to get stuck -- not only stalling your vehicle, but also impeding the traffic of others.
Wouldn't it be nice to live your life as if you were a four-wheel drive vehicle, able to navigate the toughest terrain and "never stop for any reason?" I believe we can, if we allow our thinking to believe any road or off-road scenario is traversable. Yes, we might fall, but what if we don't? What if we gain access to viewing something as rare and wonderful as the wild horses of OBX simply by changing our thinking?
As I write this, I must be honest and confess, I have and do often live in fear and doubt -- fear of others, doubt in myself. However, some of my most beautiful moments have occurred when I decided not to stop for any reason -- full speed ahead, as the saying goes. Set a goal, determine the steps to achieve this objective, and then, step by step, do it. No turning back. Just put your faith on the line and see what happens when you leap. This is because sometimes when you jump, you may fall, but during the fall you grow wings!
This is my purpose for teaching, parenting and writing. I want to inspire and instill within others the belief of flying. It doesn't matter how off-road your life has been or becomes, if you do not stop, keep your focus on the positive, your journey can lead you to unbelievable possibilities as well as great meaning.
Life is full of drama, difficulties, and challenges -- potholes if you will. Each problem ranges in size, from small daily nuisances, like forgetting something important at home, to larger, more significant occurrences, such as an unexpected bill. Blood pressure can soar, breathing can become short and choppy, and anxiety can make your body fidget in any number of ways.
What happens though, when we change our thinking? What happens when we begin to see the lesson to be learned, or find a solution to the current issue? Harmony is restored to the physical and emotional self, and sometimes, we feel like we can fly.
If we could challenge ourselves to think differently about each perceived stumbling block, we might stop seeing the potholes, and begin to see the big picture. The big picture that includes all the positive impact your life can have when you are focused on flying, living life without stopping.
I think back to the days my daughter was learning to walk. She fell repeatedly. Sometimes her fall would send her into peels of laughter. Other times, her tumbles would produce an outpouring of tears, along with a very red face. Neither I, nor my husband, could prevent her falls. She had to figure it out on her own. Despite all of her collapses, she never gave up on her desire to learn to walk. Once she finally mastered walking, albeit a little later than other babies her same age, there was no stopping her. A lesson worth remembering.
What if you fall?
Oh my darling, what if you fly?
Stephanie Hill is a freelance writer and a teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Huntington. She is also a lifelong resident of Lawrence County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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