I believe that there is a Great Mystery at work in the universe that wants me to step out of the way and let it do its job even if I don’t understand how it works or where it is taking me.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I found myself paralyzed, short on financial resources and emotional reserves. I sold my home and prepared to live in a VW van until either my body healed or I could figure out what to do next.
One night I had a special dream with a lucid quality different than most of my dreams. I felt as though I was not really asleep, but simply transported to another realm of being. I was free-climbing a rugged vertical rock face. I climbed slowly and confidently until I was within a few feet of safety near the top of the wall. Suddenly I found myself with no handholds in sight. My legs were stretched to the max and beginning to cramp. I was hundreds of feet off the ground without the smallest crack to reach for. I had no ropes to secure me and going back down was unthinkable. Clinging desperately to the cold red sandstone, I could see no options. Truly between a rock and a hard place.
Then a relaxed voice spoke from the top of the escarpment. “You are OK. But it’s time now for you to let go so you can fly. If you insist on hanging on, you will lose your grip, fall, and never learn that you’ve really always known how to fly. You were just afraid to try.”
I felt bone-chilling terror as my fingertips began to loose their grip and slip to the edge of the narrow rock crevices. Scanning the rock around me, I searched desperately again and again for one tiny hope on which to escape the inevitable. The reality of my situation plunged its’ talons deep into my mind.
Once again, the voice spoke. “Use the strength you have left to let go. Push yourself away from the rock. Surrender to the unknown.”
What? Every cell of my rational being knew that I could not fly. Yet, as the last tiny bit of energy ebbed from my fingers, I realized that I had nothing left to loose. I pushed myself away from the wall. For a second or two I was suspended in midair. Then, gingerly, I laid down on an invisible cushion of air and felt myself floating as one might when lying prone on a thin air mattress in a swimming pool. Cautiously, I spread my arms into the air and discovered that with minimal intention I could move in any direction. Fear began to subside as I developed a delicate confidence and mastered the subtleties of flight.
Now, I know that with or without MS, my quality of life rests entirely on my willingness to surrender to the mystery and relinquish the illusion that I am in control of everything.
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