I’m a 70’s girl and loved, loved, loved the original Star Wars movies. Han Solo. Yep, nothing more to be said! He also played a tough yet vulnerable police officer in another of my favorite movies, “Witness”. He was struggling to protect an Amish family from the bad guys while falling into a forbidden love with the Amish widow. A man fighting to protect those he loves against all odds.
My favorite movies of all were the Indiana Jones series. He played Indiana Jones, an archeologist, professor and hero. Be still my beating heart.
I always wanted to be an archeologist and, in fact, majored in it during my freshman year at college. I found it was not my talent after taking a mid-term lab test and the grad assistant laughingly couldn’t believe I wasn’t able to tell the difference between a male and female skeleton (really? really? – who can?). Shortly after that, I changed my major to elementary education.
Indiana Jones was a true champion. He was everything I wanted to be - an adventurer, an archeologist, a world traveler, a risk taker, always able to get out of impossible and dangerous situations, and surrounded by a great circle of colleagues, friends and supporters. I think the best movie in the series was “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” with Sean Connery playing his father. They were searching for the Holy Grail to keep it from falling into evil hands.
The Holy Grail is a mysterious artifact. No one has ever seen it and many experts doubt it exists. According to legend, it is the cup Christ used during the Last Supper and one of his followers used the cup to catch Christ’s blood as he was crucified on the cross. It supposedly holds great powers and the promise of immortality.
You may be asking yourself what the heck does this have to do with anything, outside of a love fest for Harrison Ford. Why is this important to me in my life today?
Actually, there is a scene in the movie that sometimes still plays in my head. It’s where Indiana Jones used his father’s journal of maps and clues leading to the Holy Grail. His father was mortally shot and to save his father’s life, Indiana must find the Grail. He is at the sheer edge of a bottomless abyss. The map describes a walkway where there is none and the clue mentions taking a leap of faith. Indiana must take the step into nothingness. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes as he takes the step. Suddenly, he feels what had been hidden from him - a narrow walkway across the abyss. Something hidden to the naked eye until a leap of faith and a courageous step of love showed the way to go.
Often, we are confronted with choices that seemingly have no answer, no map, and no way to go except to turn around and go backwards. When in those situations, it would be wondrous if we could take a deep breath and take a step of faith forward. Somehow, something hidden will always appears for support. Sometimes the support may come from our own inner strength, or an answered prayer, other times in the form of loving sisters, a wonderful friend or incredible children.
Recently, a friend of mine was desperately struggling with her life. Crying became her main weekend activity. Why couldn’t she find a wonderful man to be a partner, why was her life so lonely and boring? She was lost, feeling depressed and useless. She was looking for her Holy Grail - the answer to her life, the one goal, the one man, the one job that would make her happy. She needed to take a leap of faith because there was no going back the way she came.
We talked about the movie which was also one of her favorites and I reminded her about the scene. I suggested she close her eyes, take a deep breath, and take a step into the abyss. The walkway of faith would appear. If Indiana Jones can do it, so can she. And, so my friend took a leap of faith and sought professional help. She’ll soon be able to walk across the abyss and it is my sincerest wish she finds her happiness in the journey.
Our life’s journey isn’t about attaining the Holy Grail, weighing the perfect weight (my nemesis), finding the right man, saving or spending every penny, buying the perfect purse or just that right shade of lipstick. The journey is about the journey and enjoying every step of the way, whether the steps are uphill and it’s a struggle to move one foot in front of the other or we are racing downhill full tilt.
My middle sister said it very well. She is a focused, control freak personality (runs in the family). She is a full professor at a prestigious southern university and published author. She gets up at 4:30 a.m. every morning to grade student papers and works incredibly long hours. Here is her advice when I was feeling particularly lost on my journey. I think it applies to all of us searching for our own personal Holy Grail, the one thing answering all questions and making us forever happy. I think she gave good directions.
“We have to take pleasure in the movement toward happiness itself and take pleasure in the "spots" of happiness on the way (sort of like those "scenic" pull-over sites when you are traveling in the mountains--places where you can stop and soak up the pleasure of the vista before you get back on the road). Maybe being happy is learning how to structure a life where you have lots of opportunities to pull over? So right now you've hit a "bad patch" in your journey. So, now's the time to look around and find a pull-over. Sit on the couch with the dog in your lap. FaceBook Sarah or Stephen. Watch your plants grow out back. Heck, maybe it's never been about the destination, but always about the trip? So speaks your “Type A” sister who has always been focused on the destination!”
And, by the way, just so you know, Harrison Ford has nothing on Match.com man. Match.com man is an Army veteran who actively served our country here and overseas for over twenty years. I respect and admire him for his service. So move over, Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones, there’s a true life action hero in my life right now.
My Take the Leap Wishes for You
You wisely choose your journey’s path. You close your eyes and take the leap of faith - the walkway always appears even though you may drop a few feet. You take a deep breath and make the journey your life ~ let go of the belief that life will be perfect when you reach the perfect weight or shape, find the perfect partner, or get cosmetic surgery. Instead live your life and be present in the journey’s moment. Love yourself on the journey. As one of my chicas recently said to me, “why do we give so much love to others, yet give so much criticism to ourselves?”
And, finally, if you want to be an archeologist, don’t let a skinny, scrawny-bearded grad assistant talk you out of it!
Love it, own it and stand tall!
As always, with Infinite Love and Gratitude,
PS… I recommend another movie called “The Way”. This is a slower moving movie, no guns a-blazing, no sculpted male abs, no scantily clad babes, no shoot outs or buildings blowing up. (How many of you have I lost with that description?)
It is more of a thought provoking movie about a man taking a long pilgrimage to honor his son and learning life is not about the perfect destination but about the journey, the family and the friends we choose to love along the way.