I am letting go. I am not giving up.
Years ago I was invited to go cliff jumping in Thailand. There are 3 tiered levels on the Island of Koh Tao. A 3 metre, an 8 and the final one the 12. I had just started dating my now husband, for those that don’t know, he is a Royal Marine Commando, had served in Iraq for 5 years and was also head of the security for the Iraqui governement when they were changing their Prime Ministers over a 9 month period.
To say he is fearless is an understatement, in fact he wrote a book about it called Fighting Your Demons. In it he talks a lot about his fears and how he was scared everyday, but had to change his attitude to cope with his surroundings. He had witnessed my struggles and my very real fears and felt it was time to do something compelely out of my comfort zone.
A big part of coming here to this tropical paradise was an opportunity for me to let go of my past and fight thru my fears. He had told me about the jumps as he had done them on his previous trips. To say I was scared shitless is an understament, in fact I have been called shit girl on this Island, but I will leave that for another story.
So in my heart I knew I had to jump off the 12. It was a test of sorts and I was determined to passout. The day arrived and I was so focused on my fear of the 12 metre, that I didn’t take stock of the fact that I had just jumped off a 3 and an 8 metre cliff into the ocean below.
My fear had me so consumed with the 12 metre that I also hadn’t noticed that the party of 8 that I had started out with had barely managed to jump off the 3,metre and only half of the original party managed the 8 metre, it was only when I looked back to my group that I realized it was only me heading for the 12.
To say I jumped off right away would be a bold faced lie. In order to take the jump, you actually have to run at it and let yourself go, trust yourself that your body won’t scrape along the cliff edges to the bottom, trust yourself that you won’t belly flop or hit your back hard.
As I went to take the run I screeched to a full stop right at the cliffs edge. Probably one of the most life threatening things I could have done. And then, then I just stood there and stared, mesmerised by how high up I was, how small I was…how insignificant I was. My Royal saw me freeze and headed up to try to either talk me down or talk me into it. After what seemed like 20 minutes of me just staring down and him going over all the things I had accompolished, and how I had to do it for me. I got angry. I was consumed with fear, of death, of letting go. I
didn’t want him there, telling me all the horrible things I had had to endure to make this jump. Iwas embarassed for so many reasons. His mate, another officer, came up to help. He asked if I was ok, then he to went into all the things that I was to be proud of, and the fact I had jumped all those other ones, but that this was just a little barrier, a barrier that I needed to get thru. My husband, now clearly frustrated, ran and did a double backflip in the air and smiled as he went down. He was met by the remaining jumping crew who were by this time getting water logged to see if I would go. And then, it happened, all there talk, all their positive affirmations came together and I slightly jogged to the edge and leapt!!
Can I tell you I had enough air time to open my eyes and realize I still hadn’t touched the water yet, I also realized when I splashed in that everyone went under the water for what I thought was to make sure I was ok. Apparanteley it was to see if my top had come off!! Yes, it did…
So I am letting go, I am not giving up.
There is a difference between these two statements. The first would seem at first glance to be defeat. But that isn’t the case as the latter would be that I have finally accepted defeat, and that my friends is called growth.
For now I can move on with that knowledge and let room in for those positive things that sadness has taken up room in for so long.
To let go has got to be one of the hardest things I personally have ever had to do…for one it’s admitting failure. It’s my final acceptance that know matter what I did, it just wasn’t enough.
It is a choice in life that I wish for everyone that none of you have to make, but life’s not all roses and sunshine…or is it? At some point you may have to come to…that moment when you have to look at that steep mountain you have been climbing for years and stop, take stock and firmly plant your feet in the earth and calmly whisper to yourself…I am enough!
….and then jump.
And to be enough for yourself means that those things you were holding onto, those belief systems, family values, relationship dreams…sometimes to get those things you had valued so much…sometimes you have to let go of all of them.
Holding on hard to something that as the days, months and years go with the same repetitive thought,’Is this the day? ‘Is this the day when I am enough for all that I had wished would find it’s way to me?
But on reflection that is insanity and the very definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again in the hope of a different outcome. So I wait no more, instead I let go. But I will never give up.
Am I enough? Is that knock at my door going to happen, will a long, lost, loved one, a little more aged and a little wiser, come knocking.…Will they finally say, ‘You are enough, you always have been’.
So, I had to take a big deep breathe and show myself some tough love and make that hard decision, that one where your eyes sting and your throat clinches tightly at the very thought that I had to get to this point in my life. I have had to make that final call. To let go of all of it, of them, of they, of who, and yes …you, even you.
But I have to be clear, I am not giving up on it, or them, they, or who and especially not you. I am however letting go for me.
My understanding in this journey so far for me has meant that to be strong I have had to accept the most horrible sides of my weaknesses.I have had to face my fears, head on. Yet it is has been my weaknesses and fears that have made me who I am. They have been my teachers, my university, my life doctorate, my MBE in the role of my life. Sometimes I have been at the head of my class and learned quickly, even skipped a grade, other times I have had to repeat that year, as the lesson wasn’t heard and maybe I just needed to be reassured that this was not what I wanted for my life. And here is where I have inevitably had to grow.
By letting go I learned this about myself…
I am enough for me and I am enough for you. I am strong, I am also weak, I carry fears but I conquer them more confidently. I am not giving up on me or you!
And just one more thing, I ran back up those cliffs and jumped, this time for me….I jumped for me xxx