Choose Your Nets Wisely

An old painting came up in my fb memories this morning.  Sometimes I don’t like that “memories” features very much.  Other times it reminds me of something important.  

What came up with this painting was a modification I made to the old saying, Leap and the net will appear.  (John Burroughs). Because I believed there is nothing really separate from the Self that needs a net, I reshaped the phrase to reflect that: Leap and the need for the net will disappear.  While that may be true, I nevertheless still find nets whenever I leap into something.

The net that appears with every leap is woven from our stories about it.  Whenever we leap, we will fashion a story to orient ourselves to what is happening.  Here’s the thing I have learned is most important when leaping: the nets go up after the leap is made, not before. That’s what makes a leap. 

If I put up nets before I leap, I will only go where there is a net which is planning and making a decision, but not a leap.  The leap takes place when an experience introduces possibilities we couldn’t have known.  Sometimes leaps are intentional, others get started when we trip over what we didn’t see.   The painting in my fb memories this morning, depicts a wild trip that eventually turned into a leap.

I have made quite a few successful leaps and failed many more times when I used my nets to prevent falling.  The difference between a leap and failure is casting the net, as we go, to capture the benefits.  That is, telling ourselves whatever happens will be beneficial no matter what.  All nets fashioned of optimism and willingness to sift through ambiguity, will yield positive results, even if we don’t get what was planned.  

Experience is different from wisdom in that the former brings the past forward to affect the future, while the latter can see the difference between the past and future and chooses to stay in the present.  When we choose our nets wisely, faith and hope appears over doubt and fear as we go, knowing that whatever happens, having taken the leap, we will not have failed.

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