Self-Reflection Question 20

Last week in our self-reflection series, we explored the lessons we have learned about ourselves from the difficulties we have faced in our life. That got me to thinking about:

What have I learned about myself from my moments of pure joy? My experiences of bliss?

By the time my girls and I got to Gunstock Mountain Resort in New Hampshire for our zip lining experience, I had already ziplined a few times. Mostly on excursions on our trips south, the ziplines were manageable and not nearly as intimidating as what stood before me at Gunstock. There, you soar above the tree tops, peak to peak, with the longest zipline extending 2.5 kms! As I had already learned from my past experience, it is often the climb up the towers that give me more anxiety then stepping off the platform. The longest zipline was the last one and had the highest tower. My fear of open heights was challenged to the max as I continuously climbed up the tower, my legs shaky and my tummy queasy by the time I got up to the top. At that point, it was almost enough to convince me to climb back down as I can remember looking down the line to barely see the landing tower; racing thoughts about safety and the ‘what if’s’ were quite happy to fill in the space of my nervous energy.

But I was there with my kids, my aunt, and my nephew. I also wanted to accomplish this task and say that I did it. So I plucked up my courage and when it was my turn, stepped off the platform. The feeling was exhilarating. It was one of those moments in my life where I felt so absolutely free, without a care in the world. It was absolute joy; it was blissful. And it happened when I pushed past the fear. 

That is what I have learned about myself through my moments of pure elation – that I can create and sustain those moments. And when I challenge my doubts and fears, I always get rewarded with an experience that sustains my faith that joy is our birthright.

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