Leap! It’s Not as Far as You Think

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. — Joseph Campbell

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  ― Joseph Campbell

One of my favorite authors, mythologists and theologian, Joseph Campbell, has inspired me for decades. When I was still fairly young, I caught a series of lectures he did with Bill Moyers on PBS called The Power of Myth. There is an accompanying book, of which my own copy is dog-eared and filled with note bene and marginalia, the way some folks (me included) mark their scriptures. The thing about Campbell that always intrigued and drew me in was that while he was not an adherent to any one religious tradition, he drew richly from and honored the beauty of theology and the human striving for divinity. One of my all time favorite quotes— one that I come back to time and time again— belongs to him:

“As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It’s not as wide as you think.” — Joseph Campbell

This is what I tell myself when I’m scared, like I was Sunday night. This is one of my tools for moving ahead, despite the fear. This has certainly been the recurring theme of my life for the last many years; and if I’m honest, for years before. In retrospect, I have seldom taken the safest path- and I have certainly paid the price for some of those choices. But… oh, but… but it has created a depth in my soul that perhaps I could not have achieved on any easy path that pleased someone else, and it has engendered in me a fierce appreciation for life and my own, genuine journey.

So, on this leap-day, what are you facing that you are afraid of? I would encourage you to stop hiding and just jump. It’s not as far as you think…

“The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.” — Joseph Campbell

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” — Joseph Campbell

8 thoughts on “Leap! It’s Not as Far as You Think

  1. Those are great quotes. We watched that PBS show while I was in labor in the hospital with my youngest. The nurse thought we were crazy. Always loved it.

  2. Thanks; I need this perspective.

    I think my greatest fears revolve around the situations in my life. Right now that means I fear not being able to let go of enough “stuff” as we prepare to downsize for our move, not being strong enough emotionally to make it through the next 3+ months, etc. And always, that I will not measure up to my own expectations.

    Love these quotes. I believe they will help me take that leap!

  3. Particularly love this brave and inspiring post. The leap is a leap of faith, hope, courage, and everlasting will to take a chance! A chance to win, lose or draw. What ever . . . it’s all worth having been that girl who dared to and did it. Happy Leap Day to all and to all a good night!

  4. Pingback: The Field | New Heaven on Earth!

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