in YOUR AIRCRAFT
From a young age, we are reminded time and again that there is someone special out there for us. Be it a fairy tale with a handsome prince on a horse. Be it that first school crush who makes our heart do somersaults every time they smile at us. We search tirelessly for the person who will make us whole. When I realised I was in love and that the love was reciprocated, it was what I imagine taking ecstasy is like. Floating, flying. Everything in the grey rainy Manchester evenings lit up, I lit up. My body was electric and I sparkled for the first time. I shared my deepest fears and desires. It was poetry and late night kisses and the deepest intimacy I had ever known. I finally understood why people wrote love songs in abundance. Love should lift and grow and for a long time in our respective planes, we gently flew next to each other, smiling through the aircraft's tiny windows.
That is until there was suddenly a sense of suspension in my aircraft.
In my body, I knew I needed to leap out. There was a yearning in my heart, yet fear kept my torso hanging onto the emergency exit doorway, half inside and half out. Heart in mouth, a piece of paper marked 'change' gripped in my hand, I looked over the edge with no intention of carrying out the universe's message. I just couldn't bare to make such a life changing decision. I searched frantically around me to find the other 'one true jumper' who would hold my hand and leap with me. No one was there. After all, this was my plane.
Running away from yourself in the arms of someone else is a clever way of avoiding transformation. Especially when you deeply hate who you are. On my aeroplane, I could distract the snowballing pain in my chest by frantically waving to other peoples planes. The night skies heard echoes of 'you are fantastic' as I yelled across to others ready to jump, but it never heard whispers of self encouragement. Instead it heard the murmurs of the ego; 'no one will ever love you again', 'it's your fault, you are hideous', 'you aren't trying hard enough', 'no one will employ you, why would they?', 'you are worthless'.
Still clinging to the edge of the plane, I convinced myself as the engine cut out that the world wasn't really worth spending time in. The plane was going to crash into a mountain face but what did it matter? After all, my ego was my identity and it had won. At this time I was working on a theatre project and couldn't hear the director's voice over the hateful rhetoric my mind relayed to me. The plane was moving into dangerous territory, flames curling at my feet and thick black smoke clogged up my lungs. But I stayed. I wanted to be on the plane I had always known. I couldn't breathe. Maybe I wanted to suffocate.
But like all good stories, something shifted in me. The darkness was too much, the smoke was too thick and after coughing and spluttering, my eyes burning in tears I saw and felt a glimmer of unconditional love in my heart. It saved my life. I didn't want to get help, but I knew I had to in order to stay alive. Slowly but surely I made my way towards the edge of the plane. The turbulence of uncertainty shook the wings and I felt my knees buckling beneath me, but I knew the only way to grow was to jump. So I did.
I freefall down.
I am still freefalling as I type. Some days I soar in a blissful blue sky with wispy clouds around me and the sun gently resting on my back. Other days I feel hail on my neck as I dodge thunder and forks of lightning threatening to smite me into dust. One thing I am learning to accept is that my feet will never land on the earth. This journey has no ending. It is a process of constant uncovering. The parachute you thought would catch you fails and you learn how to catch yourself through the conditions around you. You learn that by surrendering to the now and following your calling, life will catch you if you let it.
As we move toward a higher collective consciousness, we uncover more about who we are. We aren't the aeroplane. We aren't the parachute. We aren't the person jumping. I like to imagine us as the sky; that space for infinite change and possibility. An expanse of beauty so vast that I look up in wonder and feel my heart sing. There is nothing like looking up and reminding ourselves of the space above us. Because that space IS us.
And I hold your hand my friend and gently squeeze it. You are the sky and you are me and we are connected. Take a leap and you will free yourself.