Jumping off a Cliff into Freedom

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

September 22nd, 2009 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

I just watched the film “Kite Runner.” And probably can’t go to sleep for hours now, because it triggered a lot of physical and emotional feelings. It reminded me of powerlessness and humiliation. And the blatant and subtle ways in which these forces can operate.

It reminded me of secrets and traditional culture and roles people play to their graves. It reminded me of the power and beauty of truth and healing and standing up for oneself and ripping up old scripts and writing new ones. And the isolation and loneliness that go along with those decisions and actions. The fallout of being pitted against oneself, forced to choose between oneself and those one loves deeply.

It reminded me that I, too, am a storyteller. My entire life, I have been passionate about witnessing and chronicling precisely. So that I could remember the truth, as it was in all its detail and nuance.

As someone recently noted, my blog is not just a forum to write about healing. It is healing — my healing. And yet, for months, I have danced, as it were, around writing about personal stories that need to be released from my Being into the Universe — to free my soul and facilitate my healing even more deeply and wholly.

A few days ago, I was reminded of my first experience jumping off a cliff:

It was a cliff hovering over another cliff. Meaning, there was the possibility of flying like a bird into the water or splatting like an egg onto the rocks below. Oh, and did I mention I was scared of heights? The day I decided I wanted to jump into the water, I walked to the edge of the higher cliff, then walked back. Then walked to the edge, then back. And on and on like that, for about half an hour.

Then I realized something: There comes a point where you’re either going to jump or you’re not. If you’re going to jump, you cannot back away from the edge again. You have to actually jump. You can’t leap off the cliff while hanging on to its safety.

So the next time I went up to the edge, I jumped. And screamed the whole fucking way down. And felt incredibly free and powerful and exhilarated. And chortled with laughter when, after submerging in the water like a cannon ball, I surfaced again.

I’m not quite ready to take that leap tonight; I’m still dancing at the edge. But I’m getting closer to flight every time.

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