“This is probably the only opportunity you’ll have in your life to jump off a cliff into water in total darkness. We call it the Leap of Faith.” My adrenaline is pumping from hours of adventure inside this cave, as I’m listening to our guide, Rossano, explain the next obstacle ahead of us. I’m having so much fun that I don’t even realize I’m second in line for this “Leap of Faith.” The guy in front of me points to where he is jumping, lights out, and we hear a splash below. Rossano’s light comes back on, and it’s suddenly my turn.
“Point to where you’re jumping.” I point, and the panic sets in as Rossano is about to turn out the light.
“I don’t think I can do this.”
“Yes you can. It’s too late. You’re this far. Now point again and go.”
I point, lights go out, and I jump. Fear dissipates and is replaced by exhilaration as I get a nose full of water and paddle up to the top. This was the only part of our Puerto Rico caving adventure where I wavered and I needed Rossano’s words to help screw up the courage to go. Somehow, courage is something so easily found when faced with a physical challenge like this one, but Rossano’s words ring true in nearly every situation where courage is needed to go for it.
“Yes you can. It’s too late. You’re this far.” Even the idea of pointing in the direction where we were jumping is metaphoric for the path of life. If I pick a direction, I point, and go, it may take some courage but fear will be replaced by something else soon enough. Whether it’s accomplishment or the lesson learned to do things differently the next time, finding the courage to just go is always better than allowing the paralysis of fear to set in.
After I contemplated inspiration and how I was struggling to find it lately, I turned my attention to thoughts of courage. Why could I jump off a cliff inside a pitch black cave, yet I succumb to fear, in the form of complacency, in everyday life? Courage is that which helps us conquer fear. Does this make courage akin to love? I say yes and it’s rooted in the cultivation of self love. Having courage to do what scares you most is an act of great self love. I was using meditation and yoga to take the inward journey to find what makes my heart sing. I stepped away from both, and I told myself the comfortable excuse that I didn’t have time. It does me no good to just stand on the edge of the cliff in the dark cave. It’s too late. I’ve gone too far. It’s time to jump in.