When my youngest daughter was 6 years old we spent most of our days in the summer at the pool. Shannon was a great swimmer. She loved being in the water, loved going down the slide, loved playing water basketball, and loved jumping off the diving board. I got to watch Shannon swim and play with wreckless abandon and 100% confidence. But there was this one thing…the high dive. Shannon would dutifully climb up those stairs everyday at the pool. She would venture to the end of the diving board and she would do as her mother has done for decades before her…she would, in fact, overthink.
As she stood there she began to play out all the scenarios in her head. The 50 ways she could get hurt, the possibility of dying as she hit the water, every bad thing that could happen would replay in her head on a loop of terror. She would analyze the conditions, try to place herself into a position to minimize the danger, try every way she could think about to protect herself and keep herself safe, but she was afraid. She wanted to do it. She really did, she just couldn’t stop the overthinking.
Everyday, she would steel herself to climb up those stairs wanting more than anything to jump off that diving board, and everyday she would climb back down the stairs after she was overwhelmed by fear of the unknown. How many things in our lives do we refuse to trust our gut on? How often do we allow our overthinking to rob us of our joy?
Sometimes it’s so difficult to trust your instinct. It’s hard to believe that I know what I want and what I should do, especially after I have made so many mistakes in my life. It’s hard to not over think and wonder, “Is that really what I want? Do I really want to do this?” It’s hard not to not stand at the top of the high dive and just wonder…what if I jump and it all goes wrong?
I continue to pray that God will lead me and guide me to where He wants me. I keep praying that I will be able to climb those stairs, to walk to the end of the board, and to just jump. To not walk backwards, not back down the stairs, and not still wondering and overthinking. Today I pray that I can just jump.