Imagine you are standing on the ledge of a window, grasping at whatever parts of its frame you can use to anchor yourself. The building you once occupied is on fire. Terror seizes you and makes more firm your grip as the warmth of distant flames tickle your skin. It’s getting hot, and you are afraid. You’ve gone as far as you can by stepping on to that ledge. There is nowhere else to go. Through the murkiness of your mind and the cloudiness of smoke you hear voices from below beckoning to you, shouting, “Jump! We will safely catch you!” Your heart begins to race as you’re confronted with a new possibility.
Your panic is now two-fold. The flames are fanning against your back, and going back into the building is not an option. You want to jump to safety, but you are terrified of the fall. You think, “If I let go, something could go wrong. What if I die?” Your options are few: stay firmly planted on the ledge in hopes that another option presents itself, or jump. What will you do?
Sometimes we find ourselves on the “ledge” afraid to detach even when the decision is clear. We are frozen by fear, and don’t realize that by letting go, by momentarily forgetting fear, we open ourselves up to a world of possibility. We create space for something new, something better.
To be clear, letting go is not the answer in every situation. Jumping in haste from one unsafe situation to another is never encouraged. However, there are some instances, like that of the burning building, where we have to free ourselves. And time will be of the essence. In that moment, a million emotions will consume you. Fear. Anxiety. Confusion. Doubt. Know that you have the power and the ability to take control. Allow yourself the freedom to live in, but not be consumed by, each of these emotions. Embrace your feelings of discomfort, and jump anyway.
Loosen your grip on the past, on failed relationships, on bad memories, on promises not kept. Jump! Allow yourself the freedom to fall away from the fire and into safety. Can you feel the temperature changing? The smoke and flames you once thought would engulf you, is now moving further away. Feel the rejuvenating sensation of the wind against your face. Revel in it. You are falling to your freedom. You have made a liberating decision that has not only saved you but has given you a renewed chance at life. Think of all the possibilities that now lay before you. Aren’t you glad you chose not to stay on the ledge?
As we enter 2014, I encourage you to fearlessly let go and jump into the new possibilities that await you.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please contact The Stone Foundation by clicking here, or by phone at 410-296-2004.
Victoria Johnson is a Communications major who maintains honors status at the Anne Arundel Community College. She currently writes for The Baltimore Times and has written for the AACC school newspaper, The Campus Current. Victoria’s talent stems beyond her writing and schooling. She is also the co-founder of God’s Jewels, a charitable organization designed to benefit individuals in Africa who seek spiritual enlightenment.