We had friends over for dinner a few nights ago. The temperature has been so high here that we decided to sit outside. There was a whole lot of cheep-cheeping coming from our apple tree that hangs over our table and chairs. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a Robin’s nest in the tree with three little babies poking their heads out. Wow. We all marveled at our discovery like there was no tomorrow. To see how small, frail and sweet these baby birds were…it just took my breath away.
Now you aren’t going to believe this! But as we were starting our meal, one of the baby birds climbed out of the nest. For the first time, he pulled his wobbly body up and out of the nest and sat on the limb. His siblings were squawking in protest behind him. His hair was matted, and he looked so skinny, especially his little legs. In my opinion, he didn’t look strong enough to fly at all.
And then he did it! Despite my opinion, he took flight for the first time. We dropped our forks in disbelief! This little guy decided to go for it, with this brother and sister now chirping him on in the background. You should have seen it. He jumped off the branch and flapped his little wings so hard. As he flew, he went down, down, down. He wasn’t soaring like his mom, but the fact is he did it! He actually flew from the tree limb to the hedge down below. It was amazing!
The whole moment hit me. It wasn’t about jumping out of the nest and soaring for his first flight. It was about getting the nerve to jump and flap those wings as hard as he could. It was about taking the leap and not judging himself on how good or bad he did. In fact, judging his first flight was the farthest thing from our minds! We were so enthralled with the fact that he did it! He risked it and actually jumped! I’m not even his mother, but I couldn’t be more proud of that little guy. He totally went for it!
All this hit me the next morning when I was writing. I so often judge my first flights. If I don’t find myself soaring after the first leap…’well,’ I wonder, ‘maybe I’m kidding myself.’ That is where my mind goes. Instead of being enthralled with the fact that I actually tried jumping, I start making a list of what I did wrong and should have known better to do or not do. Brother! It’s RIDICULOUS if you think about it. Who can jump at all with that kind of pressure!
This little guy is going to have many more jumps. And we all know that the more he jumps, the stronger his wings will get. The less scary it will be. The more control and precision he will gain. But it all takes time. And even more importantly, it requires him to jump multiple times.
Are you in this story too? If so, where are you at in the story? Are you still in the nest wanting the answer to come to you like a mother brings the morning worm? Are you climbing out of the nest b/c your ready to find the answer for yourself? Are you standing on the edge, debating on whether or not to jump at all? Maybe you are hearing the critics below–they don’t think your ready to fly–not yet, now now–it would be irresponsible of you, they say. Or maybe you are in the midst of your first flight and panicking b/c your going down instead of up? Are you judging yourself b/c your first flight didn’t end with you soaring?
What do you say we get back up on the limb together, and try jumping again?…and I’m thinking this is the key. We don’t just jump again, but again, and again, and again. You with me?
The Running on Empty Contest has begun for the Washington DC CONFIDENCE Photography Workshop! If you know a mom Running on Empty, nominate her within the comments of THIS POST by this Sunday night at 6pm PST. The entries so far are beautiful and heartfelt, you can read them on the post.