The Cautious Do Not Live At All

The Cautious Do Not Live at All

 

 

I heard this line in a movie and it had an impact on me at a time in my life where I was living so far from my true self. I had abandoned so much of me I was unrecognizable. I was a ghost, a shell, and I am grateful for the realization that if I didn’t get out, I may no longer exist. I WAS able to get out of the situation, and upon the rebuild of myself I came to see I was living with so much fear.

Fear is such a powerful emotion. It is a power source. It can fuel change, action, withdraw or it can absolutely paralyze you.

Have you ever felt that visceral feeling of tingles, numbness, body paralysis, breath taking, core stopping, choking FEAR! It is such a real sensation and yet so controllable if we learn how to manage it in our lives. Managing fear allows us movement towards new thoughts, new goals.

In order to make changes in our lives it is so important to address this powerful emotion, acknowledge it, feel it, honor it for it’s strength and presence, and put the f-er in its place.

If one wants to make a change, fear can either motivate or stop you in your tracks. I’ve thought a lot about fear, wrestled with it and in all honesty continue to be faced with situations that provide me the opportunity to further face my fears. They run deep and are rooted to so many issues. It’s like a tree with branches, where the branch represents a time or situation that validated a fear. A loss of a relationship, a deception, divorce, loss of job, financial struggle, death, loss of faith, it can be anything that personally attaches that feeling for you.

What does that really mean though? Face your fears? For many years I have gravitated to facing my fears and walking through them to represent COURAGE. I like that scenario. I don’t believe courage exists without a bit of fear.

But what is at the root of fear and how does that block change? I have often heard, fear is the lack of love. As I sit here in the dark of night, I’m not sure I can subscribe to this thought. I’m not sure there is a lack of love in fear but perhaps a desire for love.

When we look to change a behavior or a thought, we are taking a risk and in that risk exists uncertainty of the outcome. Whether looking to lose weight…can I achieve, will I have different results than in the past; or in a relationship…I’m going to trust and open my heart, will I be hurt or disappointed or elated and loved; in a career choice….I’m going to follow my dream, will there be a financial reward or will I fail.

We look to take risks, but often they can be very calculated, so we can receive the outcome we desire. Is that a risk? Or are we being cautious?

Fear has so much to do with the “what if’s” in life. What if my dream fails? What if I am not loved back? What if I get the same result? What if, what if, what if?

Don’t be cautious. Live in the moment and with your truest self. Love because you must love. Dream because you must dream. Act because you must act. Be because you are not able to do different.

What happens if we throw abandon to the wind, so to speak, live on the edge. One of my favorite movie moments is in Indiana Jones 3, when he is seeking the Holy Grail and one of the tasks is to take a leap of faith. There is a channel he must cross but he see’s no path. He must step before he sees the bridge, a leap of faith. Isn’t that what living with true abandon is? A leap of faith! The polar opposite of faith? Could it be fear? Is it in the “I believe” that change can be possible?

Today I am willing to set goals I haven’t achieved, or even been willing to state out loud because I am willing to live. Today I am willing to say I will love even when love is not being returned because I am willing to live. Today I will start something new even if I am afraid because I will not live with caution.

 

Today I will live, I must live, I choose to live!

Let me start with love

I wanted to start with love because I believe this is where everything, EVERYTHING, originates. I have had a long journey with love. My first memory of wanting love, and searching for love, was sadly not in the most beneficial places. But what was I searching for? I know at the time, acceptance, validation, and adoration. I definitely looked in all the wrong places. But I was searching and looking for something solid I could tangibly hold on to.

My beginning experiences of love resulted in hurt, disappointment and disillusion.

Fast forward to now and my understanding of love is very different.

Through the years I have gathered experiences and information to realize that love is completely unconditional. COMPLETELY! True love cannot exist with conditions. Whether with my children, friends, business colleagues, partner or anyone my path crosses, simply I must love. There is nothing else. Love.

My first husband, after 10 years of marriage, realized he needed to live as a gay man to realize his true self. This was ultimately devastating, but I needed to honor the love I felt for this man and support him in living his truth. Difficult? The most!! I still needed to love.

So through pain, loss, hurt, triumphs, how do we still love?

It truly is a choice. That’s it, a choice. I CHOOSE LOVE. I choose to love despite my feelings for revenge, despite my desire to cause pain, despite my hurt, despite my anger. I love.

That’s the magic. It’s a choice. I know you probably want to leave now and say f-you to me. The truth still is here, love. Even when it’s not in your best interest, desire, end result, LOVE.

I wish I could say there was a magic word to be spoken or wand to be waved but there isn’t. Today I choose love. My parent who judges me, I choose love. My partner who is leaving me, I choose love. My child who is screaming at me, I choose love. My boss who doesn’t appreciate me, I choose love.

I really do understand if you are skeptical, or cynical about this concept. I simple say it is a choice. You make choices everyday. What food you eat, people you associate with, activities you participate in, choices.

Each day I wake up and know I get to choose how I want to treat the people around me. Each day I choose love.

So what does this “look” like? When someone hurts me with words, I don’t hurt them back. I can walk away; I can be calm and tell them their words hurt me. When someone meets me in a conversation with defensiveness? I can say I want to understand their feelings and thoughts and be close to them and ask for their help. Find out what they need to hear me and be heard. If I’m exhausted and want to sit on the couch and just vegetate, I choose to go and sit by my partner and touch their cheek, their hand so they know they are loved. After a day of work, when I finally sit down and my child asks me to make cookies…..I make cookies.

Love is not for sissies!!! Everyday in many moments you must decide who you want to be and then choose to act accordingly. It doesn’t require you to be a saint. Vent to friends, find physical outlets to your frustrations, journal, go to therapy, go to church, volunteer, but approach people with love.

This concept whether applied to yourself or others will allow you to make changes in your life that are long lasting. Each change we face needs to be approached with love, for self, others and the process. When approaching with love, the greatest outcomes can be achieved.