I wouldn’t classify myself as a risk-taker. Sure, when it comes to love, I’ve always been one to jump in. But love feels different, is different, in my opinion. When you take a chance on a person, when you welcome the possibility, it feels smart (even if you get hurt).
Love has always felt like a good decision. Not necessarily a risk. And maybe that’s because I’ve seen real risk as jumping off cliffs, walking into burning houses to save children, fighting in the army, etc.—something that takes real heart, and guts, and strength.
But then, doesn’t love require all of those things, too? Doesn’t love ask you to stand up in the face of your fear, to be brave, to trust, to be stronger than you’ve ever been?
I wouldn’t call myself a risk taker, but I guess I’ve always been fearless when it comes to love. I’ve always believed that it’s far better to fall than to wonder what if, far more incredible to let a person in than to look back with regret. And maybe that simple act is truly stronger than we think.
Maybe there’s a little bit of risk-taker in all of us.
I’ve been thinking a lot about risk lately, actually, I’ve been thinking a lot about everything. When we’re faced with a big decision (which aren’t we pretty much all the time?!) we start to question, to dig deep, to consider all our options and lean into the people around us for guidance and support. I’ve been considering some life changes. Many of those have already began. And as my life shifts and spins around me, I keep coming back to the thought of taking risks, taking chances, saying ‘yes.’
And for the first time in my life, I’m really walking boldly into that.
The other day I took a step back and really asked myself what I was after. I asked, “If I could have everything I wanted, what would that look like? If I imagined the life I desire, what would I be doing, who would I be surrounded by?” And then the follow up question, “What am I doing right now to head into that direction?”
This made me think. It made me think a lot about my day-to-day decisions and how, sometimes, I think I spread myself too thin trying to do and be everything. It made me think about how I let other people influence my heart because I don’t want them to be disappointed, or to see me in a different way (and how honestly foolish is that!?).
It made me think about how every second we’re alive and on this earth matters—and maybe not in the sense that we have to constantly stress about losing or missing out on time and opportunities, but that we have to go and grab what we can—life is too short not to.
We shy away from risks sometimes because it seems foolish to throw all our energy into a person, a dream, a career, an unknown future—and yet, in those moments (even when they don’t pan out)—we grow the most. We become the people we’re meant to be. We realize our capability and strength.
At the end of the day, the life we really desire is often just outside our reach. But we can grasp it, simply by extending our arms, challenging the rules set before us, believing in the power within us, and taking a damn risk.
Life is scary as hell sometimes. Scary to the point of stagnancy. We get so caught up in all that could go possibly wrong, all that doesn’t quite make sense, all that we’re still trying to figure out. And the unknown grips on our heart, holding us in place. We don’t want to lose what we have. We don’t want to end up emptier than before. We don’t want to feel alone or heartbroken. So we sit in this place, unwilling to try, to move, to change. We listen to the limiting perspectives of others and allow their words to anchor us to the ground.
But as so many quotes have told us, life begins at the end of our comfort zones—and have you ever stopped to think about what that means?
The truth is, when you challenge yourself to exist outside the realm of the comfortable, you really start to live.
When you take chances, take risks, fall in love, chase dreams, believe and walk forward in hope, you thrive. And so you, me, all of us—we can’t be afraid of the possibility. We can’t be afraid of the ‘what ifs’. We can’t be afraid of the potential failures, the brokenness, even the ends. Because nothing in this life is permanent, not even us.
And so instead of waiting for life to start, why don’t we make it happen for ourselves. Why don’t we jump, run, move, go, begin.
Featured Image Credit: J’Waye Covington