Never be afraid of making mistakes. Never be afraid of finding out the wrong way to do or handle things. It wasn't wrong. It was just one step in finding the perfect balance
for you and your life. You make adjustments every time you fall.
The woman walks out from behind a curtain and to the center of the arena floor. She is dressed in a sequined suit that twinkles in the spot light. The crowd claps and cheers as she bows and makes her way to a ladder at the far end of the arena. The bright spotlight from above following her every move. As she begins to climb a hush descends over the crowd- so deep the silence of the thousands of spectators it seems as if they are all holding their breath. When the woman reaches the platform high above the crowd she pauses and collects herself as she sweeps her eyes across the hushed arena. She can feel their fear, their hope and their expectations. Not only will she walk across the entire arena on a tightrope 35 feet in the air, but she will do so without a safety net. The pressure builds and she knows she must go now.
Tentatively she places her foot on the taut metal wire and she begins her journey...
This was a dream I had the other night. I was the woman that walked out into the spotlight and in front of a crowd of people, each with a different expectation of me as I began to walk across the tightrope. Slowly, placing one foot in front of the other I made my way across. Knowing that if I should stumble, second guess myself or bend too far to one side I would fall. And there was nothing below to catch me.
I woke up thinking about the dream. To me it represented life and the tightrope that we all walk every single day of our lives. I think a conversation I had with a good friend of mine over coffee the other day is what prompted my dream. She was talking about how she knew she needed to take that first step into the unknown as she begins a new chapter in her life. How she can feel everyone she knows watching to see if she falls or succeeds in making her way across. Some of the pressure she is putting on herself but some is from the people in her life. She knows that she has to take that step. That for her foreseeable future she must juggle life on her own, her children, her new job and face some life lessons. All without a safety net. She is scared of falling.
We have all walked that tightrope of life. Trying to maintain our balance while forces outside of our control push and pull us in different directions. Making us struggle to stay one course and not plummet down. But it is not always outside forces that threaten to knock is off our balanced walk. Sometimes it is within us. Another friend of mine suffers from depression. Life is a daily walk across the tightrope. Too far to the left and she will fall into the depths of despair and too far to the right leads to manic over the top behavior. Both eventually resulting in a sudden crash to earth that can take months to overcome. She struggles every single day to maintain her balance while living her life. She knows that it is only she that can control whether she stays balanced and that no one can walk that tightrope for her. With each crash and burn teaching her to see what helps to keep her balance and what helps to push her over.
Life is nothing more than a balancing act. And the lack of a safety net is reality. There will be times when you let yourself get out of balance. Focusing too much on the bad so that you get pulled down. Or loading yourself with so many things to juggle that you get weary under the weight of it all and it pulls you over the side. But over time and with experience you can learn ways to balance all that is expected of you. You can find ways to balance your moods, your responsibilities- your life. The key component though being that you have to take that first step out. You have to still your fear of falling and you have to just get on it.
Never be afraid of making mistakes. Never be afraid of finding out the wrong way to do or handle things. It wasn't wrong. It was just one step in finding the perfect balance for you and your life. You make adjustments every time you fall. You pay attention to what caused you to become unbalanced and you then take the necessary steps to avoid it in the future.
Going through life trying to maintain that perfect balance is exhausting. It is so tempting at times to just not. To wallow in sadness and grief. To not pick yourself up because to do so means you may fall again. It cripples your ability to walk without fear of falling if you never even try. Kind of like when a toddler takes first steps. Stand Up. Fall Down. Stand Up and take that first step. Fall down. Each time getting the hang of how to do it. Same thing goes for you and I. We have to figure out all the wrong ways before we find the one that works for us. But if we never take that first step out onto the tightrope- we can never learn what helps us with our balance.
Like the women in my dream; I know at times it feels like the spotlight light is on you. That the crowds-or you friends and family- seem to stare at you expectantly. You have to tune them out and find your own rhythm. Don't bog yourself down in needless things to juggle. Don't bog yourself down with second guessing yourself. Build your confidence with each step. The tightrope gets easier to navigate if you attack it head on. You will get to the other side. Daily as the case may be.
Be your own safety net. Use your strength and your experience to cushion you when you fall. But use your heart and your mind to get back up again. And your courage to begin anew. Knowing that all the mistakes have only shown you a better way to do it. A more balanced way.
After all life often resembles a circus. Don’t ya think? Some days I think I am stuck in the freak tent myself. But that is a whole ‘nother blog.
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