This picture used to be my screensaver on my phone. It was taken a few years ago without any filter or good lighting. I was at an “aerial forest park” with a few people for a birthday party. The party was for a child, but the kid in me looked forward to tackling each obstacle and zip lining through the trees. The sun was setting and my friend stood underneath me and snapped the picture.
What the picture does not capture was the fear I was experiencing. I am not going to lie; I was panic-stricken. Before me was a bridge with wooden planks spaced apart. There was a very thin cable on the left side of the bridge for you to hold on to while you literally “walked the plank.” I stepped on the first plank and my legs shook. With each step, it seemed like the planks were spaced further and further apart. I made it about a fourth of the way and it was clear, I wasn't going to make it.
My legs were so wobbly, they made the bridge swing side to side. I remember stopping and asking myself, if I fell would the harness catch me or would I plummet to my death. My group could tell I wasn’t going to make it. One of the ladies yelled, “Lean into the rope.” I was holding onto the rope for dear life instead of leaning into the rope for support. I was unsure if the cable could hold my weight, but I was so desperate I was willing to try anything. Once I shifted my weight and allowed the cable to support me, I breezed through the obstacle with no problem.
This situation is a metaphor of life. How many times have you faced a problem and instead of using your rope (supports), you tried to carry the weight on your own. And when you are about a forth of the way through, you become frightened, shaky, and ready to quit. Life throws us challenges— internal doubt, relationships challenges, financial difficulties—that we have tried to carry on our own. We were not designed to carry everything on our own. We all need a rope to lean on for help.
For some, their rope is...
They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him YOUR plans. He can support ALL of your weight plus more. Many times, you may feel as though you are alone and God is not hearing your prayers. Looking back, you can see where He added an extra plank in between the gaps to make your walk a little bit easier.
2. A good friend/mentor
Life is lonely if you don’t have anyone to share it with. I am not talking about your spouse or significant other, but a great friend who will laugh and cry with you when faced with difficult challenges. Your “rope” will support you AND tell you when you are wrong. Let’s face it, sometimes we come up with some crazy plans.
I recommend at some point in everyone’s life to speak with a therapist. We all carry emotional baggage from our childhood, past relationships, loss, disappointments, heartbreak, negative experiences, trauma, etc. (S)He is someone who is a neutral party to whom you can dump all of your problems. They can assist you with development of skills that help you cope and overcome challenging situations. Your therapist is the “rope” that allows you to navigate through life while being unapologetically you.
Now, I am going to ask you: who is your rope?