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Edges ...

Many times life has presented me with an edge: between what I am and what I will become, between what I know and what I don’t yet know, between what is familiar and what I must still give birth to.



Cliffs of the Great Australian Bight

Many times life has presented me with an edge: between what I am and what I will become, between what I know and what I don’t yet know, between what is familiar and what I must still give birth to.


That edge is never comfortable. I have never found myself willingly balancing on that edge, patting myself smugly on the back at how clever I am.


No, when I’m on that edge I’m in turmoil. I’m dazed. Shocked. Struggling. Pissed off. I feel pushed beyond my limits. There is nowhere else to go. Nothing else to do. Everything feels unsolvable and unfixable. I’m at a dead end. I’ve run out of options. I am terrified and I'm certain I will die.


In front of me looms only the emptiness of my worst fears. An ominous oblivion. I can distinguish no bottom and no horizon, no promise of foothold or embrace. There is only indeterminacy and endlessness. Dare I risk myself to this unknowing or should I clamber and claw my way back onto unstable ground, a ground that is, at this very moment, giving way beneath my feet. Crumbling. Caving in. A ground that no longer sustains me. A ground that betrays the trust I had placed in it.


What should I do? I have nowhere to go.


Am I prepared to risk everything? To fail? To fall? To drop down? Dare I give up all that I believe and all that I know? Dare I let go of the old and stale pathways, the monotonous and worn-out words? Dare I plunge into this hole before me?


But then ... then ... when I feel least ready, least prepared … just as my resolve is wavering and I am considering a line of retreat ...


I find myself pushed …


It is life that pushes me, or pain that pushes me, or a friend, or a lover. Or the crumbling ground beneath my feet finally gives way, divesting me of any choices I felt I might have had. There is nothing I can do now. I am in freefall. Nothing. Nothing.


And then. Then. As I hand myself over. As I let go. As I surrender. As I release myself. I realize I have wings that I did not know I had. I am flying. I am at home in a world that I could never have imagined, never have problem-solved my way to, never have constructed or planned.


Here now, I am soaring! I am loving. I am moving in new ways and with new understandings. Here, now, I see only possibility. New paths. Undreamt-of potential. Blessed Life!


Why did I fear? Why did panic freeze my limbs? Why did I not trust that I would be held? Why, why, why did I not let go willingly?


This is the lesson of edges and of falling and of flying …


It is letting go that is the hardest …


(Excerpted from my book Suffering, Spirituality and the Inner Journey Home).