Living each day much muchier
Have you ever taken a risk on something that failed and then regretted ever having done it at all? Or were you upset that it failed, regretted it for awhile, but were at least satisfied that you gave it your best shot? I don’t know about you, but I would rather try and fail than hold back and lose out on the experience altogether.
I used to do that a lot as a teenager … hold back. I was uncommonly good at predicting the eventual outcome of a situation based on what other people were likely to do. I reasoned to myself, why do this at all if I know there’s no good future in it? My friends at the time used to marvel at my restraint … marvel at how I never seemed to get myself into the sort of pickles that they did. Even though I never said to them ‘I told you so’ at the end of any such pickle, I bet I was just as annoying as if I had actually stuck my thumb to my nose and did a ‘ner ner’ dance. In comparison, my own life was relatively uncomplicated. I strove to avoid the traps and entanglements that were so obvious and avoided those messy, painful impacts on my heart.
What I failed to realise at the time was that in avoiding the messiness of life … I missed out on life itself. Terrible. Wonderful. Terrifying. Satisfying. Painful. Beautiful. A heart that doesn’t try avoids the pain of loss and failure … but suffers emptiness instead. Perhaps my friends at the time also pitied me for having a cold heart unswerved by passion, unmoved by love, and left untouched.
Have you ever done something, knowing it would fail, but you did it anyway because the experience itself was worth it?
This is my outtake on life now. I even think that’s what it truly means to love life … to accept it for all its ups and downs. To try something for its own sake, not on the proviso that it must succeed. To love people for their own journey, not just how they impact on mine.
Perhaps I’ll live to regret it but at least I will have lived.
A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.