Chasms, fissures, divisions, are generally supposed to be avoided.
Giant and cracking, snaking their way into even greater divides and dangers, they are the stuff of separation, and hopelessness, and fear. In the physical sense, they are the type of places where we put up metal barriers and “Do not cross this line” signs, fine to stand at their edge and survey, but with no thought of going any further. And in our own lives, they are the gaping spaces that separate us from the next big dream; they are the noiseless unknown, the places that our minds won’t even go.
I’ve recently been standing at the edge of a lot of fissures, facing what feel like gaping holes, and as these things always go, it was not originally of my own accord. Forced to the edge, we all have the choice to stand, wind in our face and heart so full (just full, of what, we don’t often know), or we can turn and run back, hide our faces, saying this is all too hard. The choice to stand and survey, oh it is a brave one, one for true hearts. It is the place where new hope starts.
In my own life, I realized that I had stopped even facing my chasms, fine to unconsciously skirt around their edges, never looking at what was on the other side, much less in the gaping middle. I was missing my dreams, my new hopes, my own growth, so stuck in the known, the safe, the easy. I was missing people, and projects, and wonder. And jolted by my forced step to the edge, I’ve slowly started to see that consciously approaching the many chasms and questions in life might just be the best way to grow.
So paint the picture, see the desired result, all the love and good fruit that always surround courageous goals. Close your eyes and breathe it in, that fresh smell of a new, spacious place, and hold the light-edged image of your sweetest dream in your mind. Just hold it there. Then picture all the space in between, the decisions, and obstacles and unknowns. Feel their heaviness; gaze into their darkness. Think about how easy it was to see that light-filled result just a minute ago, and even to envision your first moves. But now it is dark, and you are at the edge of your chasm, and fear is creeping in. Stand here. This is the really excruciating part coming up: the sticky in-between. You can enumerate your fears, lift them all up to the fire of your dream, or you can turn back. No one will judge you either way. Oh, but if you start the enumerating, as scary as it may seem, you will find that half your fears are invalid, and that the rest are just hazards of the road, obstacles to face as you fight for your growth, and hope. And that hope will become what you hold on to as you start to bridge the chasm. The hope may look different than you thought it would, and it might show up in unexpected places and people, but it will be beautiful. And you will be on your way. And your heart will be so full.
Walk on, brave heart-traveler.