A couple of years ago I came across this video: http://www.eaglesneedapush.com/
It came to me in a time of great upheavals. I was a little lost, very stressed, very ill and feeling conflicted. Before you read on, I suggest you watch this video even for the mere feelings it conjures up. I’m sure Eagles don’t pick apart this simple act as much as we humans do, but it is beautifully done.
This line in particular from the short film tugs at my heartstrings:
“Until her children discovered their wings, there was no purpose to their lives.”
I think that is the way we all feel, deep down. What we don’t talk about much is that niggling feeling somewhere inside telling us we are destined to do something with our lives. I don’t mean becoming rich and famous (although it is possible that is your vocation,) but we all have that one dream, that one need, that we totally define our progress on – whether it is to care for others, write amusing stories, make the world just that bit more colourful… unfortunately, a lot of us still have those walls up. The ones making us feel inadequate, questioning our abilities or using past experiences to govern our future.
For example, you might be trying to become a writer, but finding your work is being rejected. I know personally that I don’t like to be rejected so I have a habit of quitting early. However, there is always that one thing you do in life that you just won’t quit on – and most of the time, that is our personal talent – our wings. Did you know that the highly successful sci-fi novel Dune was rejected 20 times? J. K Rowling’s Harry Potter books were rejected by 12 publishing houses (I bet they are all kicking themselves.)
Until you discover your personal gift, that joy that gets you out of bed each morning, whether it is being a wonderful parent to your kids, volunteering, steps you’re taking to become a chocolate tester, it leads one to wonder, have I found my wings?
So, life often pushes you to find your wings. We mistake this gesture as cruel, when we fall and land face first in the mud. Never-the-less, we will get right back up on that cliff face until that moment when life pushes us again and we recognise our gifts. And this doesn’t happen just once. This happens many times for us. I mean, we are blessed with the capacity to think – so you may sore for a while and then wonder if this wind will always be there for you to sore on.
I think the good news is that the more we practice the “soaring” the easier it will be to stay in the air for longer. Plus, the longer we are in the air, the less we will notice those times when we hit the ground again.
The reason I am writing about this today is because in life I have be pushed many times. The last of my pushes is something I have already hinted at before – finding out my partner of 3 years cheated on me back in 2009. Before this happened, I was struggling – I was still trying to break free of my anxiety attacks, I didn’t believe I could get a job because of them, I’d spend all my time feeling inadequate and had an overwhelming sense that something in my relationship was wrong and again, because of the anxiety attacks, I just thought it was in my head. Eventually, he came clean and I have to tell you I felt relieved (and also, naturally, broken hearted) that my instincts were trying to talk to me and I wasn’t making things up.
It was a push because I had completely lost myself up to that point. At that moment I wanted to give a big ****-you to my ex, and I started making changes in my life to show him I wasn’t the person it seemed I had become. I applied for a job in the city, which I got, made appointments to see a therapist to help me with driving again, and gussied up my life. I push my anxieties out of the way and moved forward. I know those gurus out there will say you need to do things for yourself, but truth be told that some of us just aren’t at that point yet. The self-respect is still low, so this particular situation would have been easier for someone like me.
I was dropped to earth again almost a year ago when my panic attacks returned, along with my chronic illness. To be honest, I am still climbing the cliff, hoping that life will be at the top to give me another push. I have learnt so much in my falls and I’m pretty sure I have found my wings now. All I need is that pumped-up energy life gives you when it pushes you forward, off the edge.
I guess I will know when I reach the top.