Imagine for a moment that you are holding onto the edge of a rocky cliff, dangling by your fingertips. Your feel the surface of the cliff cut into your skin as you cling more desperately to the rough face of the rock. The prospect of slipping, of letting go and falling into whatever waits beneath you is terrifying, and that very possibility seems to hang suspended in the slight breeze that swirls up and around your body. Unable to bear the unknown of what you don’t see, you try to hold on, simply waiting for the inevitable. A catastrophic outcome is surely the only place to go from here. There is no one around, and besides, your voice is hoarse already. You are out of options. Your grip continues to weaken and slip, one aching millimeter at a time. You don’t know how it came to this.
Now imagine that you – the very same you who is dangling precariously from a rocky, barren, lonely cliff – look down. You notice that you are wearing your bathing suit. You also realize that the air temperature must be close to 90 degrees, and the breeze that swirls up and around your body is gentle and warm. Your grip is still slipping slowly. You are closer to falling, and as you approach the last seconds of clinging desperately to the solid ground above you, you glance further down, this time letting your eyes look beyond your bathing suit clad body.
And inch or two below your bare feet shimmers a pool of emerald and turquoise hued water. Light plays off of the ripples and dances like a cloud of lightning bugs in celebration on a humid summer night. You can see all the way through the pool’s crystal clear depths to the sandy bottom 10 feet below. You can hear a whisper through your fear of the unknown. It welcomes you to release.
You let go of your desperate grip and slip into the cool water. The sensation of refreshment is instant. The caress of the water takes your anxious breath away and replaces it with a steady gaze and an intoxicating sense of contentment. You float to the surface, letting the buoyancy of the water support you.
A glance upward affords a view of the rock face that held so much of your fear just moments ago. Its appearance is still rough, barren and rocky, but now you see that it is nothing more than a platform from which to dive into the life that is waiting when you allow it to embrace you.
What fear do you need to let go of to allow contentment to refresh your life?