Monday, April 1, 2013

This morning, I read this post from Seth Godin, "Just the good parts." And it was timely. 

My dad will tell you "getting old ain't for sissies."

I'd add that choosing to live life fully and authentically really isn't, either. It's no wonder many of us spend a heckuva lot of energy trying to avoid feeling the full import of our emotions. 

Godin suggests that many of us just want the good parts of life, but we're not willing to be open to the possibility that things might not work out. We might attempt something new and be disappointed or fail. We tell ourselves that it's too big of a risk to take and that it is just easier to avoid the disappointment and pain by taking a pass. But what we miss if we don't take the chance to fully live!

"Instead of cursing or fearing the down moments, understand that you've chosen reality, not some unsustainable fantasy," Godin writes. "It means that you're doing worthwhile, difficult work, not merely amusing yourself."

However, there are plenty of times when I wish "worthwhile" wasn't so difficult. 

The very thing you're seeking only exists because of the whole. We can't deny the difficult parts, we have no choice but to embrace them. - Seth Godin

Living authentically requires being fully present and there are times when that is not easy. It's being aware and feeling one's emotions especially when they might be too strong. Meeting the inevitable challenges of life with an open heart is hard to do, but the rewards are immense. If we want to feel the good stuff, the joy beyond words, we have to be open to the risk that it may not work out. The point is, if we are too scared of failing, then we're never really fully living. 

Where in your life, your relationships, your career, are you most afraid of taking a chance? What joy, love, or success are you willing to miss because you are too afraid?

"The open path is a matter of working purely with what is, of giving up altogether the fear that something may not work, that something may end in failure. One has to give up the paranoia that one might not fit into situations, that one might be rejected. One purely deals with life as it is." Pema Chodron - The Ocean of Dharma