If someone tells you to take a flying leap, do it

If someone tells you to take a flying leap, do it
By Sandra J. Cohen and Roger Cormier

 

We overheard a woman telling a friend she had literally taken a leap of faith off a platform. The friend replied it also took faith to mount that platform because it was shaky.

The literal leap might have been a bungee jump or a ride along a cable above a jungle canopy. However, we found ourselves thinking about leaps of faith that may or may not be physical or visible.

The common meaning of “leap of faith” is believing in a truth without evidence. What struck us about the leaper above is that she believed and took a risk that at the end of the bungee or cable ride, her adrenaline rush would pay off in a safe and very memorable outcome.

Whether you are an older or younger adult, you probably have taken leaps of faith in your life. In fact, such leaps are what enable us to grow older rather than just get older. Whether or not your leaps were physical and dramatic, they were by definition risky because the desired outcomes were not assured. In fact, the last state could have been worse than the first.

The shaky platform referred to above struck us as much as the woman’s leap. It seems that whenever we take a leap of faith, we do so from the platforms of our lives which are always a little shaky. Even a fairly stable life platform does not prevent our legs from shaking when we feel invited or even compelled to leap into the unknown.

Now might be the right time to consider our next leap of faith. It could have to do with our work or retirement, relationships with others or ourselves, our health, travel, encounters with nature, a long-held dream or a new interest.

If you have not taken a leap of faith in a while, ask yourself why not. Recall the feelings and outcomes of a previous happy leap. Choose a leap that you feel optimistic and excited about.

Gauge how much resolve you feel and how much encouragement and support you need. Get feedback from someone who is familiar with the shakiness of your platform and will celebrate with you when you land.

If you feel more like a procrastinator than a risk taker, accept the side of you that may feel like postponing your leap, but affirm the side that wants to move ahead and broaden your world.

Take one leap at a time. Get familiar with your changed world before taking your next leap.

Whatever your age and current attitude and outlook, as you entertain a possible leap of faith, remember the exhortation: “Do what you have to do, with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are.”

Happy leap and happy landing!

Sandy Cohen & Roger Cormier (email: starguide4growingolder@gmail.com)