Emergency Evacuation

It wasn’t my intention to write on this subject this again, but this is the question that keeps showing up in my life. The question is in regards to what it feels like the moment you let go, the moment you leap, the moment you leave one thing and move into liminal space having not yet reached your next destination.

I have never jumped out of an airplane. The only way I will ever jump out of a plane will be for a life-saving emergency evacuation. Honestly, that is what leaping into liminal space feels like. Sounds great, huh?

At some point on your journey, you discover that your plane isn’t headed to your desired final destination and the only way to be where you are supposed to be is to get off the plane as soon as possible. But you love the people on that plane, they have been so good to you, it’s been a great journey, but they are headed to a place that isn’t for you.

You make a decision. You stand up, baby steps. But even in the small steps people begin to question you. Everyone is looking at you. They whisper, they point and offer disapproving looks. They begin to tell you all the dangers, all the reasons why you should settle for the final destination of that aircraft even though it is the wrong destination for you. But what they are saying cannot silence the voice inside you that is calling you to get up and move.

You walk towards the door. One foot in front of the other. You think, “What am I doing? This plane is going to a nice place with nice people. I could survive there. But is living and surviving the same thing? What am I doing?” But in your heart you know, you just know, that destination isn’t for you. You put on your parachute.

You check and double-check your parachute. You know you have to do this alone because the parachute can’t handle the weight of multiple people and we are all being called to different places anyway. Getting multiple people to the wrong place isn’t the goal.

You look back from the door and see those who have been a significant part of your journey. You are grateful for their concern and even more grateful for your shared journey to this point.

Again, you think about your options, you know that plenty of people will be happy when the plane lands because it is taking them to where they are supposed to be. You could go with them, you’ve been flying high with them for a long time, why not continue the journey?

You stand at the door questioning everything. What is below is calling to you but it feels like such a risk. What if your parachute doesn’t open? What if you are the only one who ever jumps? What if people question your decision? What will life below really look like? But what if you don’t jump? What if you stay the course of the predictable flight plan and you end up in the wrong place by choice?

And so you jump.

Here is what you need to know; your parachute isn’t going to open right away. If it did open it would get tangled in the airplane and you would die. The vessel that you treasured for so long would kill you. One way or another, it would kill you.

And so you free fall because you have to get away from where you were to get to a new safe place. As you fall it is loud, so, so loud. And you can’t make sense of anything and all you know is that you are falling, and falling fast. And then, once you are a safe distance away from the plane, that thing you loved for so long but needed to get away from, you pull the ripcord and “whoosh”… silence, stillness, peace. You are floating. You did it. You left the thing you needed to leave, you survived the chaos, the world is coming into clear focus again and now you can steer to your new landing place, that place that speaks to you.

So what does it feel like to leap? It feels like a life-saving emergency evacuation. If your life is moving in the wrong direction, thank those around you for the journey, walk toward the door, put on your parachute and jump. Free fall into the chaos and then pull the ripcord and enjoy the silence, enjoy the stillness, enjoy the peace, embrace the clarity, prep for your landing, be grateful for the journey and begin again.

Your life may require a life-saving emergency evacuation. And if you listen to your life closely enough you might hear yourself saying as you stand up and walk towards the door, “Oh, this, again? Ok, here we go.”

Molly Grishamchange, growth, risk