I really wanted to try rock climbing, like the real kind, with ropes, gear, and an absolutely vertical rock face.
My fiance happens to be a climber, and well trained. So for the first time I stood at the top of a cliff yesterday, all roped and geared up, ready to go. We were going to abseil down from the top, and then climb back up. I was excited and nervous.
After all, I love a new adrenaline hobby!
When my fiance said, “Walk back to the edge, and sit back with your feet out against the wall.” Sit back into nothing?! That goes against everything I know! Logically I knew I was roped in and had a brake, and roped to him too, but my mind was fighting it tooth and nail. I was creating fear. I kept saying, “I can’t.” My go to catch phrase when I am scared or hurt is always “I can’t.” I learned that through my practce of mindfully observing my thoughts
I stood there debating for a moment in my head. I wanted to do it. I wanted to let go, trust, and just sit back into the air like I wasn’t afraid. God, did I want to do it.
But my mind was stopping me. It was holding me there paralyzed in fear.
Then I heard it. I heard myself saying, “I can’t.” I told myself I can. I thought about the conversation we just had on the ride over about walking through fears. I resolved to do this. I looked up into my fiance’s eyes as he calmly said, “Yes, you can, do you trust me?” I took a breath, nodded, and allowed him to coach me over that cliff until I was standing against the lip of the cliff, with my butt sticking out into nothing, ready to repel down.
After all, I wanted to do this, and I knew I would be pissed if I chickened out. So I took the breath. I trusted. I loosened up my death grip on the rope so I could start to slide backwards to walk down the face, and that’s when it happened.
I fell! The very thing I had been imagining happened.
My worst fear. As I leaned back, I slipped, lost my footing, and technically fell off the lip. It was the worst and best thing that could have happened. The moment I decided to trust, and stop being in charge, the moment I let go, figuratively and literally, was the moment I fell. The idea my mind had worked up to stop me stepping out of my comfort zone happened. It was the thing my mind had created as the scariest possibility, and when it actually happened, it was fun! If that makes any sense! It seems our minds have that power.
I fell about two inches, because I was all roped in. The fall showed me that the reality of what I had created in my mind was not even close to what my mind was making it into. I know I can’t be the only one who has allowed fear to stop me from stepping outside my comfort zone.
I shook my head, seeing the lesson so clearly.
As I dangled there, I laughed, and my fiance stuck his head over the side to check on me, expecting me to be in a panic. I laughed because I realized how close I had been to not going over the edge, out of fear, and because the “worst” thing happened and it had proved to me that it is okay to trust—making it the best thing. So my biggest fear of the moment had manifested itself and taught me to trust. To trust the ropes, trust my fiance, and trust the plan.
In an absolutely beautiful and human moment yesterday, I got a lesson in trusting and working through fear. Never before have I been able to be present with my own irrational fear, and work my way through it, observing as I went, and making a conscious choice not to let it run me. Never before have I been able to accept help and coaching the way I did yesterday, without getting mad at myself for needing it. My ego has always gotten in the way. I guess that’s what our egos do.
Never before have I had such a glaring lesson in letting go and how it makes life so simple if we just trust.
It was exhilarating, facing fear and saying, “No you don’t win today!” I felt a new level of empowerment flow through me. I have heard that trusting and relying on others and God makes you strong, not weak, and yesterday was my shining lesson in how much truth there is in that statement.
F*ck fear. It’s an illusion.