Choosing to Fly

I was flying back from spring break with my kids, descending through the clouds back into Atlanta. My littlest, Hoyte, was in the window seat next to me, and we stared out at the puffy white clouds. As the plane dipped inside them, and we could see nothing but white.

“Look at that, Hoyte – we are in the clouds! You know, the pilots see the same thing we do up front – a TOTAL WHITE OUT. They can’t see anything in front of them.”

Hoyte sat up, staring, “Really?” he said, trying to make sense of it in his 7-year-old mind.

“They have to totally trust their instruments to guide them through what they cannot see,” I said, pointing toward the cockpit.

“They have to rely on communication with the control tower, where they have a signal on them at all times. That is how they find their way home.”

Satisfied, he went back to his iPad. But a flood of awareness shot through me like a bolt. I grabbed my notebook and started writing.

Tears rolled down my cheeks, as I felt the messages coming through. This is exactly what happens in life’s crises – TOTAL WHITE OUTS. Periods when we dip suddenly into the abyss, unable to see anything around us, or know what is ahead.

It is during those times that we must totally trust our instrumentation. Our spirit team is the control tower, and the Universe has a perpetual signal on us, guiding us home . . . through the abyss.

I know, because I have been there. My guess is that you have been there too. Or, maybe you are there right now.

My mind started rewinding through images of crises in my life. I realized that about every 5 years, I experienced a major white out, during which I could not see the world in front of me – many times so traumatizing, it felt like paralysis. The projector in my mind was flashing through past white out scenes and I could feel old emotions come to the surface with immediate presence.

Like the time I . . .

. . . was abused as a child and adolescentrepeated white out.

. . . found out my adopted father had betrayed, then estranged our family – reality white out.

. . . discovered my first husband was having countless affairs – heart white out.

. . . learned my husband got other women pregnant while married to me – soul white out.

. . . gave birth to a premature baby with life-threatening birth defects and diagnoses shattering white out.

. . . held my baby when his heart stopped beating and he went cold for five minutes – complete white out.

. . . discovered a precious loved one after she died tragically – unexplainable white out.

. . . realized that my second husband had been defrauding me for years – shocking white out.

. . . deconstructed and re-invented myself  three separate times – identity white outs.

Whew – are you exhausted? Frankly, me too, as I look back and take it all in. The silver lining is that every single ounce of those crises made me who I am today – doing the work to help others find their way out to freedom.

I am not sitting in the victim role here – neither do I want that for you. I just want us to look at each other, eye to eye, and say, “I see you. I get you. I know exactly how that feels.”

I know what it feels like to hear the news that that alters your life in a moment. The world screams and goes silent all at once. You can’t see your way through the abyss because you were not prepared to ever be there. You must decide if you are going to crash land or keep flying.

But there is one thing that keeps you going: that still, small voice inside of you. It is the deep knowing that your life is bigger than any circumstance in this world. It is the sacred knowledge that whispers into your ear “You are stronger than you think you are,” even when all your systems give way.

It is that ever-present signal on your soul from the Universe, never leaving you for a moment – even though you are scared out of your freaking mind. Your Inner Being knows that you are being protected, supported and guided to a new place.

Somehow your faith overrides your fear.

Even though it seems your instrument panel has gone blank, and the skies turn a complete, blinding white, you find something. Deep in the shadows of your soul glows a pilot light of hope.

It is enough to guide you through the white out. Through the clouds. Through the storm, as it rages around you. You trust that there will be an opening up ahead, so you just keep moving.

And if you allow divine love to flow in, you hear a whispering voice in that sacred space inside of you,

“Keep going. Just keep going. I know you can’t see. I know you are hurting and don’t know how you are going to get through this. But you are surrounded by more love than you could ever imagine. We’ve got you. We have a signal on you and are guiding you home.”

And so you trust. You turn to your Higher Power, your Inner Being and your watchtower. You trust that everything is going to work out. Somehow. Someway. It just has to.

Then, in a beautiful moment, the clouds start to thin, and you can see a glimpse of your own heart in the sky up ahead. The clouds start to clear, and you begin to see yourself, your life and your journey in a new way.

You see the sun again, and her warmth feels like the most heavenly thing you can remember in your life.

You realize that Home is not really the destination where you are trying to land, but a place inside your own soul. You start to understand that the pain you have experienced has been the mind-blowing catalyst of growth that has recreated who you are.

And more than ever before, you choose to fly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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