I jumped out of a plane last week. On purpose. For so long, I’ve been accidentally falling off stuff that I was curious about what intentionality would feel like. It’s better.
People have been asking great questions about the experience. The most common one has been, “When did it get scary?” Honestly, I was pretty freaked when the giant instructor man was stuffing my body into the very green jumping-out-of-a-plane suit. It was clearly not meant for my body type. I looked like Kermit and Miss Piggy’s love child.
If the suit wasn’t meant for someone who looked like me, one must wonder, quite logically, if the activity was meant for someone who looked like me. Then, I got a little mad. I’ve been self-limiting for way too long. Because of how I look. Because of how my body is surgically held together by duct tape. But, mainly, because of the messages I’ve received from the world about how I look and how my body is damaged from illness and surgery.
It is so easy to fall into agreement with the judgments of others. I’m beyond lucky to have countless family and friends who love me and believe in me. Still, it seems easier to believe the voices from my distant past. Every once in a while, to bring power to my voice and credibility to the voices of those who love me, I have to risk something. Rejection. Failure. Plummeting to my death.
So I’m in a season of trying to live without self-imposed limits. I still feel afraid of a lot of things (and even more people). However, if everything feels risky, it’s possible that my gauge is malfunctioning. And, while I continue to work on repairing that gauge, I am going to have to take some blind leaps.
Reflections on lessons learned from being a therapist and adoptive dad.