I have made big moves in my life – literal moves – but they were safe and predictable at least in my mind. I left my mother’s home and moved to Vancouver when I was just shy of 18 to live in a “riskier” neighbourhood and attend university. It was a huge change, leaving my friends, my family, my known world – but I wasn’t afraid and leaving my home at that time was necessary for my own sanity and safety. No one but me knew that fact so to some it might have looked like I was making a grand leap. But I knew it was more of a small jump off a sinking ship. It is easy to jump when it is the only way to survive.
It felt like a successful jump, I gradually found my footing, and found I could navigate on my own. Enough so, that I took another leap. It was a life changing leap – but very much one I felt I was led to and quite confident would be met with open arms on the other side. I asked to be forgiven and confessed that I believed. As hoped, there were great healing arms waiting to catch me.
However, when the anxiety of this leap soaked in, the fear of its meaning, its implications kept me hovering near the gap’s edge for a long time. I remained a dry seed, holding itself inside, hidden under rocks, and clouded by weeds. Dormant.
Then the phone rang.
Now the thing about jumping from sinking ships is that they are presumed lost. Having jumped from mine, out into a world of my own, I felt I was clear from the secret which had prompted me to flee. Free from it – I tried to move on, holding my hurting truth inside where I felt it could not reach anyone else. I carried it with me in hope that those dearest to me could carry on innocent and unaffected.
But what if jumping from that ship allowed it to stay afloat if slightly aslant. What if by staying afloat it convinced others it was safe to come aboard despite its inherent weakness. What if I was still very much connected, as by a thin rope about my heart, to the fate of this ship.
The phone rang – and upon listening to the tale told through it – that thin rope pulled tight around my life and heart and breath. I was going down with the ship – I became aware that I had never been truly free of it and I was in danger of forever drowning along with it if I couldn’t find the words to release my secret.
Leap: Cold beads of sweat down my spine. All I need do was speak … but it is hard to pull up words you have worked so hard to push down and away, words which have been scarring up your insides. My throat seizing up, turning to stone next to a heart gushing and broken. Through the pain, through the panic to breathe – I managed to gasp out a word, then two, though tears and anguish flooded through me, I could feel the ground give way beneath me as I spoke out the truth, my self thrown into a dark unknown, away and away and away from all that had come before, from all who had been who they were, before.
Laid out on the floor – fallen to pieces, tears and truth left me a hollowed out husk, all light and untethered. My whole self – hurt. I lay like a limp rag doll on my new shore, sobbing waves, upon waves. Far away and on my own, I wept – the crack I had leapt over was turning into a chasm removing me from everything past. I wept and was carried away on waves of grief.
But then, those arms; those healing arms I had leaned into before and then abandoned – they lay over me, covering me. Where shame, dark as pitch, had lived inside of me – where sorrow had dwelt, a light grew bright. My broken soul, re-broken, felt set to mend. I was in new territory – and I could feel a release burst forth as my tiny seed broke through its shell.
I needed to jump ship when I did, but in my finite human wisdom I missed the mark. He knew I needed to make a full leap in order to be broken open and made new.
Leaps are not always grand. They don’t always lead to a wondrous adventure. They don’t come without some pain. Sometimes they are necessary to survive; often times they are what is needed to grow.
Today the #wholemama word is: leap. Follow me over to Overflow to read more stories from lovely #wholemama storytellers.