The Art Of Letting Go

It just didn’t seem natural, yet it was necessary. It was pushing against instinct, yet it was what I longed for, craved, even. My heart pounded in my chest as I kept asking myself, “Did I really purposely choose this?” The palms of my hands were sweaty as I silently gazed around at my surroundings.

This was not the most comfortable place to be sitting. I don’t remember exactly what triggered the cycle of events that led me here. But here I am. Sitting and waiting for the moment I signed up for.

I think I am ready. I have researched and analyzed all of the potential outcomes. I have wrestled with my own emotional reaction over this choice. One day I am exhilarated. The next day, I am doubtful.

airplanejumpReady or not, here I am looking out of this vessel down into wide-open nothingness. I take a deep breath, fold my arms over my chest, and I fall into the pivotal moment I had been planning for so long.

It was just like they said it would be, only more intense. I am falling so fast I can hardly move a muscle against the inertia of energy rushing through my body. I am overwhelmed at the feeling that my body will rip away from my soul, leaving it behind to hover over this action picture scene.

smilingskydiveI am screaming at the top of my lungs, pushing air through my vocal cords only to have it snuffed out by the force of the world rushing towards me at 120 mph. I recognize that I am not screaming, I am laughing. It’s all happening so fast, yet it feels like it’s never going to end.

I am given the sign. This is the time to pull the cord. Suddenly, the world stops rushing towards my face and I am floating in the most peaceful and beautiful time warp. I see the world below my feet. I feel a serene melancholy envelope me. I am moved by the thought that I could just hang here forever. I wish I could slow down the process of returning because this is where I feel the presence of peace.

But, alas, the floating is over and I bump across the rough grass on my return to reality. At once, noise and movement and excitement wash over me.

It takes days to register the experience. I can’t stop smiling. Because I made a choice to look over the lip of the door at the patches of earth and wonder, “Will I be able to let go of the threshold when the time comes?”

The one moment that resonates with my skydiving experience is when the instructor states before the jump, “It’s up to you as the jumper to let go and fall out of the plane. Nobody is going to push you or convince you. This ride is paid for. You either jump off at your stop, or you will never know what you were missing.”

Often, we are faced with major life decisions that we know we have to execute. We are in a vessel we willingly signed up to ride on, but with the tickling thought that it’s time to let go and step over the doorway into another reality. It may be a career change. Perhaps it’s the withering death of a romantic relationship. Maybe it’s the final chapter of raising your child, now an adult and moving on. But it happens to all of us. Whatever it is, do you have the strength to let go?

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”~ Hermann Hesse

*photography for this experience were recorded by a videographer at Skydive Carolina in Chester SC, circa 2013

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