Musings on Risk, Turn On, and Regret

You know what the biggest shame would be?

  • Not fully living your life.
  • Not putting yourself out there in fear of possibly getting hurt.
  • Not being turned all the way on.
  • Not going after the things that your heart is absolutely craving for.

Is it scary? Sure! Hands down!! That’s why a lot of people are quite content not rocking the boat. Not as many people opt for the super hero path … let someone else risk their life.

Because let’s face it … having your ass handed to you after you put blood sweat and tears into something important to you? Fuck yeah that’s scary and humiliating!

I’ve lived through at least three different scenarios of partnerships or agreements going south with people I really cared about. Every time I reeled back to a place of utter distrust and broken faith.

Also projects, where lots of time and money were invested, ending before the payoff ever happened. Even picking up and moving to a new town only to turn around and move back not even a year later. In these cases, I thrashed around in a pit of embarrassment, failure, and hopelessness.

Then there is the romantic risk right? To have to pick up the shattered pieces of your heart after you opened it full of faith and trust. Painstakingly frightening.

I still wonder occasionally why I keep putting myself “out there” when I have lived through three major heart breaks in my life (one of them included the short sale of a house). I’m not even 40 yet! Don’t get me started on the relationships where the recovery time takes longer than the actual couple time!

But what’s the alternative?  To only swim in waters that never ever move? No storms, but also no excitement. Or I could become one of the Walking Dead. Where I am a shriveled up version of myself … unrecognizable and absolutely devoid of the light of life.

I’ve already gone down that road and it is even more excruciating. As my mentor used to say, we just sleepwalk through our lives at that point, biding our time and counting down until we die.

To turn on, to live with passion and for passion, definitely puts you at risk of being burned. You are playing with fire, yet I think we forget how capable we are of not just healing from the occasional burns, but managing the heat so that we can create warmth, nourishment, and vitality.

Because of this amazing process of learning and growing through that trial by fire that is risk worth taking in my humble opinion. Here is another thing we easily forget or overlook … there is just as much of a possibility that things can turn out amazing when we follow turn on and excitement in life.

For us to feel the thrill of a goal achieved. To feel the bliss of true intimacy. To feel the utter relaxation of safety, and the heart warmth of connection.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of playing the safe game. The one where I give my 60% and wonder why I don’t have everything that I want and yearn for. I have some things, but not all of the delicious and satiating things. It’s a watered down version of life … which I guess is fine if you like that sort of thing. You know … when you drink your beverage after all of the ice has melted and you barely taste the flavor of it anymore.

Something that stuck out for me when I was in leadership training 10 years ago was the saying that “If you’re not thinking of quitting, you’re not playing big enough”. I totally wanted to punch them in the face at the time when they would (in my mind antagonistically) remind us of this.

However, I knew on some level they were right.  I wasn’t playing big enough. I wasn’t risking or putting myself out there far enough to fail. I did all the things that looked good on paper but were polar opposite of what my heart desired.

When I stopped fighting my leadership coaches (and the whole program to be honest), I calmed down enough to realize my comfort zone was also my zone of guaranteed disappointment in terms of the things I truly wanted to accomplish or achieve. Cruising is dangerously close to snoozing … we gotta watch this stuff like a hawk sometimes so we don’t go down the rabbit hole of regret.

So can we make a pact? No more coasting and surviving friends. No more settling. Seriously. Who do we think we are doing a favor by suffering and staying small (and cozy in our immobility). 

Time for thriving … and that requires a life of risking. Trust me, your turn on will turn on those around you too. There is enough thriving to go around. 

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