If you want to move forward, you first have to let go.
Reminds me of when I went ice-skating last winter. I never did learn how, and it had been years—decades—since the last time I tried. This time around I allowed a friend to coerce me into going, even though I was afraid I already knew how it would turn out.
As expected, I couldn’t let go of the rails. I watched as dozens of happy people flew past me, dancing and bobbing in glee while I chuck-chucked alongside the rails. My friend, a first-timer as well, was already gliding around and around, laughing in sheer delight and triumph. How I envied them all their fearlessness and accomplishment.
I knew I could just as easily join them in that experience. No one had tied me to the rails, after all.
But I could not—would not?—let go of the safety of the sidelines. Not when I could fall flat on my behind, or break an ankle, or simply exist, for just a moment, completely and utterly out of my element with nothing to hold on to.
Logically, I understood that I would never experience that sensation of floating on ice if I did not first risk falling flat.
Emotionally, I shrugged and declared, oh well. Ain’t gonna happen.
So I remain a non-skater. For the time being, at least (I haven’t quite given up on myself yet).
But here I am, with the certain knowledge that it’s time to move on with my life. And I realize I have to let go of some things first: particular thoughts, behaviors, beliefs—the sideline stuff, the forces I’ve clung to for safety on the sidelines of life.
For the longest while I believed those things held me back, kept me tethered when I wanted to be free.
But really, I’m the one who’s been holding on with an iron grip.
It’s infinitely safer to hang on to the belief that I am flawed, that I don’t deserve success, that I simply don’t have what it takes to step out onto the rink and fly. Or, I don’t have enough money. I don’t have the right credentials. I don’t know the right people.
At least if I keep hanging on to this sideline stuff, I won’t risk falling flat on my face, right?
But it’s time to let go. Time to move on. Time to trust.
I learned first to trust God. Now God teaches me to trust myself.
Time to let go. Time to move on. Time to trust.
Time to trust myself. Time to believe in me.