Leaping Into Fear
I am currently in this space of healing my heart. Each day I wake up and struggle to conquer my discomfort and fear. The fear has been an emotional one that I am trying to conquer. The idea that I have to let go and realize that I was not cared for or protected the way I thought I would be by a man I trusted, has made me fearful to trust people or anything in my life.
I am never someone who settles into pain, I always try to climb and claw my way out of this space. So I decided I needed to escape it all and take a solo trip to Jamaica. I rented a tiny Air B&B in an apartment complex in Negril and jumped on a plane not sure what I was going to find, do, or experience but simply hoping to heal my heart and bring myself closer to a sense of peace.
Some of it was accomplished, but this wound to the heart is much deeper and resurfacing deep rooted pains that are familiarly debilitating. So a quick trip to the Caribbean although restful and rejuvenating is only a piece of this healing. Still, every trip I have ever taken has taught me something about myself. Sometimes I’ve learned more about my connections between others and sometimes it’s internal lessons about who I am and new revelations about myself.
The only thing I had actually planned to accomplish on my trip to Jamaica was to visit the rejuvenating mineral rich water of Blue Hole Mineral Spring. I found this day trip option on Trip Advisor and was intrigued by the reviews from a few solo travelers who talked about jumping into the spring from a 35 foot drop. I wasn't sure what to expect, but somewhere inside me I had this plan that if I could push myself physically to try something hard, maybe it would push me to make the emotionally difficult decisions I was now dealing with in my life.
I had the fortunate experience to connect with a few of the tour guides who made sure I was always cared for and felt comfortable while exploring the property on this open ended day at the spring, farm and pool. I did my usual Marya thing and walked around striking up conversations with strangers and learning their stories. A kind Auntie taught me how to eat fresh whole mangoes Jamaican style without a knife. Tom, one of the tour guides, walked me to the roof to get an amazing view of the property and the water and take in the bush and countryside of the western side of the island. The bartender and I struck up a conversation as I cooled off from my first dip. Then finally I was ready to try the Blue Hole Mineral Spring challenge that I had been anticipating and fearing as well.
I was expecting the bravery I channeled all day long and in my professional life would make it easier to tackle this challenge of leaping into a narrow hole from 35 feet in the air to land in the mineral rich waters of the spa that was 35 feet deep. Tom and another guide showed me the ledge where I would jump from and gave me quick and easy directions, just go forward, don't think about it and jump. Yeah, that was way easier said than done.
As soon as I saw the drop, my heart fell into my stomach and my body froze. Literally, the guide videotaping the moment counted off at least 3 times and finally asked if I was practicing being a mannequin. At first I couldn’t even move closer to the edge. My legs wouldn’t budge. Then Tom reached out one hand and gently guided me forward with the other and I started to move on my own. I would take a step forward, mentally ready to make the jump and again stop in a paralyzed fear. This went on for almost 15 minutes. Luckily it wasn’t a busy day and no one was waiting for me to move so they could get a turn, so I was using all the time in the world to carefully decide what I was going to do and how I would take this leap. I’m not going to lie, twice I stepped off the rock and back onto the ground admitting that I was just not brave enough to do this.
Then finally, one of the guides suggested I start with a small step and jump off from half way up the ladder. I felt a little more confident that I could do that since I had already used the ladder to just go into the spring before just to swim around minerals rich spring. I scaled down the ladder, stopped at the halfway point, let go and jumped. It was still at least 14 feet above the water, so I was nervous but not as reluctant as I was at the top.
But he was right, once I realized it wasn’t as nerve racking as I thought, I was ready to try it from the top. I quickly climbed up the ladder, got back to the ledge and this time I followed Tom’s countdown. When he got to three, I stepped forward quickly, said a quick prayer and took the leap of faith. I could feel the free falling sensation as my body hurled from the top of the rocks deep into the hole smacking the water with intense force. My arms were definitely sore and I felt my stomach doing somersaults, but as my body popped out of the water into the surface I was beaming with pride. I had done it!
As frightening as it was, I was able to make this jump and was safe. That fear of the unknown and letting go of control was more a mental barrier to taking the leap than a real challenge, I had psyched myself out about this. To get through the discomfort and conquer the fear I was going to have to let go and have faith in what people were telling me as well as my own abilities. It was hard, but not impossible.
As I have traveled back home and into my reality still feeling the deep cuts of heartbreak, I am trying to carry this experience with me as a lesson in life and about myself. It was easy to make the jump once I realized I would be ok after it was done. There was not one moment where I felt like I was alone because Tom and the other guide were by my side and encouraging me throughout. I leaned into faith and trust and both kept me safe and pushed me to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.
All of this is what I have to hold onto while I continue to heal myself and move into this unfamiliar and scary space of being abandoned and rejected in love. I have to leap through this pain and into my power to truly heal myself and free my mind and heart from messages and thoughts that are holding me back from leaving one chapter and jumping into the next.
It’s unknown, I have had to make sacrifices and along the way I am losing people I hoped would stay with me. But it’s a leap of faith I am taking on myself and with the trust the universe will guide me towards my safe landing at the other end of the jump.