52: Fly Like an Eagle

52: Fly Like an Eagle

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible

Fly Like an Eagle

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.

~Greg Anderson

My husband Phil and I strolled along, hand in hand, running our bare feet through the pristine sand of a beach in Nassau, Bahamas. He described the landscape: the deep, blue waters of the ocean, the crystal clear, blue sky, and the lush greenery with gorgeous flowers in this fantastic paradise. Through Phil’s voice I was not blind.

As we laughed and teased one another we approached a small straw hut with several brightly coloured parasails lined up in a row. Phil had me touch one and we both laughed uncontrollably until I said: “Yes, let’s do it!”

I felt exhilarated. But then, my smile disappeared and negative thoughts filled my head. I thought all about the dangerous things that might happen. I pushed my husband away and would not discuss it any further.

We walked along the beach back to our hotel in silence. Then, I stopped and thought to myself that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if I didn’t take action right now, in this moment, to challenge myself and face my fears, I would regret it for the rest of my life!

Before I knew what had happened, I found myself in a small boat headed for a large, white, floating raft out somewhere in the deep blue waters of the ocean. We explained to the two gentlemen on the floating raft that I was “legally blind” and wanted to experience the adventure of parasailing! One of the gentlemen was quite nervous about this, but the other, who had a deep, calming voice, smiled and grasped me firmly as he strapped me into the beautiful kite. He carefully guided my fingers over the ropes and poles as he described the process and the instructions.

After a few moments of quiet contemplation, the kind gentleman took a deep breath and said, “Okay! This is what we are going to do! When you begin your descent, you will feel yourself coming down and as you get closer to the raft, I will shout out to you, and when you hear my voice, give me a signal that you hear me by giving me two thumbs up! When you are low enough and almost ready to touch down on the raft, I will give you a hard slap on the back of your leg. When you touch down on the raft, we will both grab you under your arms and will continue to run with you a few feet but will stop you before you run off of the other side of the raft.” I listened very seriously to everything he said.

At this point I realized I was really going to do this! My body began to shake but it was too late to back out. I stood on the edge of the floating raft, locked into the beautiful kite and my heart began to pound like a jackhammer! The strong arm held onto me firmly. I heard the engine of the boat start. I could feel the curled rope beneath my toes leaving the raft. I took a deep breath and I felt a hard jerk of my body! I was up and gone!

It happened so quickly! Surprisingly, the wind was soft and welcoming. I flew higher and higher. I told myself I was an eagle and I was really flying! I took a few calming breaths, I allowed myself to relax. This was an amazing opportunity! Smiling, I began to enjoy the sound of silence! My hands were comfortably hanging onto the bar attached to the kite. I slowly loosened my grip and actually let go! I outstretched my arms and embraced the heavens! I was flying like an eagle! Huge tears began to roll down my face; not because I was afraid but because I was suspended in mid-air and feeling free and happy! As

I looked around at the deep, blue waters of the ocean and the crystal clear, blue sky (just like Phil had described it to me) I realized that there were no lines or barriers separating them from one another. I felt healed! I did not feel like a misfit blind girl trying to explain and fight my way through life.

I could put all those hurtful memories to rest. Throughout the years I had allowed my negative thinking to prevent me from taking control of my life, from seeing the strong, independent, and sassy woman who was confident and had finally found her true identity.

“I am not disabled! My disability is only one small part of the person I have developed into today!”

I felt my descent begin all too quickly, just like it began. I wiped the tears from my eyes and vowed that I would never again allow negative thinking to stop me from experiencing greatness! This experience was one of those “aha” moments that changed my life and gave me a new perspective.

~Lynn Fitzsimmons

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