Jump or not jump?

For all the important changes we must undertake a leap in the dark” (William James)

How many times have we heard and, perhaps repeated to ourselves the famous quote by Heraclitus “The only constant of life is change”.

Change this great word that is constantly part of the life of every living being. But what is change? I imagine the change in a figurative way,  a bit like jumping from one side to another, and depending on how big or deep, the jump is more or less long or high and more or less “scary”.

But where are we before the jump? We are sitting on the edge of the rock deciding whether to jump or not, or to understand if we can do it or not.

If we got there on the edge, maybe what’s behind us could be that it doesn’t belong to us anymore but we know it, while what is on the horizon we don’t know and it can be scary. Sometimes we do not even see this horizon, maybe there is only the fog and then we are sitting there waiting for the fog to rise, but other times even if everything is clear there may be something that stops us.

But what exactly are we afraid of?  To jump where we have never been, to jump into unknown lands that we think are full of pitfalls or to not be able to jump?

What is really behind the fear of changing, beyond the fear of the unknown? There is perhaps, insecurity in our abilities, there is the fear of going beyond our comfort zone even if where we are now it is tight and it hurts us at least we know it.  There is the risk of “losing” something that we already know well. In all the small or big changes, we have to “let go” something to make room for something else but very often we do not know if this “other” will “fill us” like what it was.

But if we have arrived right there, on the edge of the rock, it will not mean that we are ready to make that jump, that our legs, our heart and our breath will support us that the risk of staying there on the edge is even bigger than what we run if we jump?

What would happen to the butterfly if it doesn’t have the courage to complete its transformation to the end, not using the wings to start flying?

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but we rarely admit the changes it has had to undergo to achieve that beauty

(Maya Angelou)