Making the Leap of Faith on Butterfly Wings
â€œHere is the secret to inspiration: Tell yourself that thousands and tens of thousands of people, not very intelligent and certainly no more intelligent than the rest of us, have mastered problems as difficult as those that now baffle you. ~ William Featherstone, Canadian Artist, 1927 - 2009
Hmmm, in our never-ending-race-to-the-finish society, life comes at us so fast and so relentless, it wears us down at times. Our reserves of inspiration can run dry from neglect.
At times like these we wonder â€œWhy do I bother?â€ or â€œDoes anybody really notice what Iâ€™m doing?â€ Itâ€™s a short trip from there to the question we all hate to face: Do I really matter?
I think William Featherstone has it about right. We all face adversity with about the same capacity to deal with it. Too often we take ourselves out of the game by covertly admitting to defeat before we begin. We begin from a place of resignation rather than inspiration.
â€œDo not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.â€ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist, Lecturer and Poet, 1803- 1882
Iâ€™ve always liked this Emerson quote. It tells me that it is okay to be different. It empowers me to respond to that quiet voice that says: â€œThere is a different way for you. Not better or worse, not faster or slower, just unique to you.â€ I find inspiration in accepting that my path veers away from the main road from time to time.
â€œLeaving a trailâ€ doesnâ€™t have to mean achieving great heights or becoming famous. It may turn out to be a trail that no one else ever follows. But it is my trail and my destiny. Others may be inspired by it or may not understand it at all. The point is it leads to where I am meant to go.
â€œHave the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.â€ ~ W. Clement Stone, Businessman, Philanthropist and Author, 1902 â€“ 2002
The older I get the more important â€œliving with integrityâ€ seems to be. I have learned that other peopleâ€™s approval is a shallow well that runs dry very quickly if I have not been true to myself.
Iâ€™ve spent my share of time shying away from unpleasant truths. It seemed easier to give them a wide berth. But I learned â€“ sometimes the hard way â€“ that you can only hide from the truth so long before it cripples you and robs you of your inspiration.
â€œOnly those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.â€ ~ TS Elliot, American/British poet, 1888 â€“ 1965
Iâ€™m not particularly good at this behaviour. Iâ€™m one of those who analyzes and evaluates the situation from as many angles as possible to reduce the risk. It does help me to see the way forward in many cases.
But there are times when the analysis becomes circular. It keeps leading me back to the precipice without a clear answer except the conviction that I have submit to inspiration and take that leap of faith. Iâ€™ve seldom regretted it when I do.
Iâ€™ll borrow my metaphor from Maya Angelou today. Grasping truth and partaking of beauty often requires transformation. Transformation is a risk. We canâ€™t know for sure where we will be when we emerge on the other side. But it is a safe bet we will be inspired to find ourselves there.
â€œWe delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.â€ ~ Maya Angelou, American Author and Poet
~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of â€œUntil the Deep Water Stills â€“ An Internet-enhanced Novelâ€ â€“ double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michaelâ€™s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.comor the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog. Visit www.smashwords.comto download a free preview of the e-book version.
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