What guarantees and certainties are we searching for from life? What would we like to do in and with our lives but are too afraid to risk it?
For many of us, fear of disapproval, rejection and ridicule play a disproportionately large role in our lives. Fear has such a hold on us that it stops us from trying something new or doing what has meaning for us. And each day, we live foolishly believing we have all the time in the world (Jack Kornfield “After the ecstasy”). We struggle to control life, demanding guarantees of how it should unfold for us.
With each passing moment, it becomes more evident life holds no such guarantees. A couple of weeks ago, while waiting at a traffic light, a woman on a bicycle was riding across Homestead Road on Kiely Blvd in Santa Clara. This softly smiling woman exuded confidence and self assurance as she calmly pedaled down the busy street. We were traveling in the same direction. A few minutes later, she was knocked down by a van setting off from a traffic light. This incident underscored the temporariness of life and its lack of certainty.
With this in mind, we would be wise to remember that there won’t ever come a day when everything will be exactly as we imagine it. At retirement age, we won’t suddenly develop more self confidence, abilities, skills, talents, looks, or whatever it is we believe we are currently deficient in, and which keeps us from living and doing what our heart urges us to do now. When we understand, we can begin to fully live each day as if it is our last day.
Living a fulfilled meaningful life on purpose necessarily entails risk. Certainly we risk the disapproval and rejection of people who won’t understand what we are passionate about or value in life. But as life is short and makes no promises, we owe ourselves to live this life dancing to our heart’s rhythm. After all, each one of us has been given this life for us to live.
When we can do this one small act of love for ourselves, because you deserve love as much anyone else on earth, we are taking a stand. We are declaring that we will take a chance in order to live a life filled with meaning, purpose and love.
Kornfield, J. (2000). After the ecstasy, The laundry. New York: NY. Bantam Books.