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LaniSometimes you must be willing to let yourself fall in order to achieve greater heights.

As I sit here on the intercostal waterways at my father’s house writing my 3rd book, I gaze out at the beautiful waters and at the huge monstrosity of a lani that he is in the middle of constructing in his back yard. It spans the width of his entire house, yet towers over the rooftop. There’s a little lookout peak on top the new construction with two windows one facing East and one facing West.

I decide to take a break and walk out onto the dock for some fresh air. As I open the doors and the salt water breeze rushes in caressing my face, I hear two birds squawking and fluttering their wings in a panic. I look up and two pigeons are stuck up in the lookout fluttering back and forth smacking into one window, then rushing to the other window to only smack into that one. They’re confused, delirious, and cracking their heads against glass because they can see the sky but they can’t make their way out to it.

I keep telling them they have to let themselves fall down and fly under to reach the sky. Yet, I don’t speak pigeon and they keep on their viscous rant flying higher and higher and getting stuck up in the rafters. I chuckle to myself, silly pigeons, why don’t they see going higher isn’t going to get them anywhere?

I come back inside to do some more writing. An hour later I go outside and both pigeons are still sitting in the window sills looking out, but still can’t figure how to get on the other side of the glass. I feel bad for them and try to help them out. I have some sesame seeds from a trail mix I was munching on earlier. I throw them on the ground directly beneath them, thinking they will come down to get them. The plan doesn’t work. They both fly frantically back and forth running into each other smacking the glass, the rafters and everything else in their way. I’m surprised they haven’t knocked each other out! I see a broom to the side and think to myself, “Maybe I can push them out? Show them the way?” As the thought quickly passes, I decide no, I’m not going to push anyone or any animal to do something they don’t want to do. They need to learn and do on their own free will, even if they are just pigeons.

I go back inside to continue writing. About another hour later I make some popcorn to take outside to take a break. I look up at my fellow pigeons to see how they are doing. To my surprise one pigeon has figured it out! They have left the chicken coop so to speak. Then I wonder, why is the other pigeon still there, sitting on the window sill? Did it not witness what the other pigeon did? Can it not realize how the other one un-trapped itself to fly freely? I go and sit on the dock and eat my popcorn.

I walk back under the lani and the pigeon is now calmer. Not frantically flying back and forth. I stand in-between the sliding glass doors and I pause and look up at the pigeon. It flies up to the very top once again above the window and looks out, but there’s’ not enough room for it to escape. I stand there patiently looking at the pigeon and it turns its head and looks to me. I say to it, “You need to let yourself fall. Its ok don’t be afraid.” I say this as if it’s really listening to me, I wait and finally the pigeon jumps from up high to a rafter lower than the window sill. I encourage it by saying, “There you go, that wasn’t so hard. Now just fall to the next one.” Amazingly it bounces down to the last one and turns to me and then quickly flies away underneath the huge lani structure and out into the open sky. It soars over across the water to the neighbor’s house then circles back around over the top of the lani as if to say thank you. I have to admit a little tear welds up in the corner of my eye watching it fly freely above. Those damn birds were stuck for so many hours!

I thought to myself, how many people are stuck up so high looking out to see the future, yet they just can’t let themselves fall in order to achieve greater heights? They are stuck looking through the glass, it’s so close they can smell it, they can see it, but they just can’t grab it.

I think we could all learn a lesson from the pigeons. When you get stuck and you don’t know where to go or what to do, don’t flap your wings around frantically and waste your energy smacking into everything around you. Sometimes the quickest route to happiness and flying freely at greater heights is to let you fall just a little bit. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. The most successfully people have had failures and every now and then have to take a step back, rethink and reorganize their brain to achieve greater heights. In all aspects of life, be it business, love or friendship. Let yourself go and fall. You may just see a brighter light down there at the end of the lani.

Tara Richter
Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.