Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Mindful Monday: Come to the Edge … and Leap!

posted by Beyond Blue

“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.”

I found that quote by Guillaume Apollinaire a month or so ago and I loved it.

Because it sums up, with considerable accuracy, a few of the recent transitions I’ve made: with my work, with family relationships, with some friendships. In retrospect, everything is peachy. But in all of these situations, I’ve pretty much been forced to make the change, only to look back and see it’s value and the goodness that has come from it. No transition has ever come without the awful knot in my stomach when I wonder how long the ham I ate for lunch has been in the fridge. But I think I’m getting more tolerant of sitting with that knot instead of running from it like it’s the boogey man with a sharp weapon, or projecting it on to someone else, although I still do plenty of that.

In her new book, “Hidden Treasure: Uncovering the Truth in Your Life Story,” renowned spiritual teacher Gangaji (formerly Toni Roberson Varner, but not like &%$ formerly known as Prince) tells beautiful stories to get readers to push themselves a tad more, to risk, and to begin or advance a spiritual adventure. I enjoyed her essay on spiritual maturity because I have been going through a few growing pains myself, and her words help me to make sense of it.

I especially liked her comparison of spiritual growth to the first flight of a baby eagle:

At the dawning of spiritual maturity, as in biological maturity, a push or even a shock is often necessary to provide the catalyst for essential growth. The birth of true knowing follows the death of the previously known. What was previously known may have been true in its time, but when finished becomes false knowing or ignorance.

It is not always so easy to simply put away what we have outgrown. We don’t often choose to leave a protected place. Although some things are easily put aside or easily fall away on their own, transformational leaps take us, or throw us, into unknown territory with no reference points. The baby eagle may or may not have noticed that his survival depended on his protectors flying back and forth with his nourishment. Flying may never have been considered in his baby bird brain. Likewise, we may have never noticed that throughout time, in all cultures there have been sublime examples and stories of living freely. Spiritual nourishment prepares us for flying, but we only fly when we take the leap, or are pushed, into the unknown.

We may feel an internal pull toward what is calling us in this unknown realm and be terrified of it at the same time. Or we may ignore the pull altogether until we find ourselves losing what we never considered could be lost—our nest—and desperately fighting the unknowability we are left with. The more we give our attention and life energy to fight the unknown, the more we experience hell.

When we can recognize that the soul matures naturally and sometimes with pain, we can be more willing to recognize the space between one phase and the next. Usually we desperately try to cling to what no longer is, or deny that we have lost everything we know, or attack those around us in anger and fear. We overlook the spaciousness in the shift between one reality of life and another. If the baby eagle doesn’t resist falling then the moment of falling before flying is just as sweet as flight. If we don’t resist whatever is being experienced, then the underlying sweetness of life is found even in the most bitter parts.

Photo courtesy of alaska-in-pictures.com

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
Cindy

posted August 30, 2011 at 8:57 am


Once again, just the right words at just the right time.
I realize that I am resisting the change that has been forced upon me – now I understand it is the space between one phase and the next.
Thank you.



report abuse
 

Razz2

posted August 30, 2011 at 10:49 am


“When you stand at the edge of the cliff, jump to fly, not to fall.” – Unknown Source

This is one of my favourite quotes and it fits perfectly with today’s post. I too am going through some of those difficult transition times and it helps when one thinks about that period between one phase and the next as something that can be good or not. It’s up to us to decide.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.