Risking For Greater Colour
November 15, 2015 § 1 Comment
I’m sometimes vulnerable to an awful thought:
There’s nothing to look forward to.
The thought is awful both in its message and the state of being that usually accompanies it. Worse yet, it usually gives rise to another thought: not only is there nothing to look forward to; there can be nothing to look forward to.
When we feel this way (I’m now assuming I’m not the only one, god help me), we usually feel powerless to change these thoughts and feelings; therefore we must have also decided (since we weren’t feeling bad enough) that we have no power to create anything to look forward to.
What a place to be.
One of the gifts of experiencing this particular kind of pain is that it can catalyze us to confront dysfunctional, repressive paradigms inside us that often operate unchecked for long periods.
Here’s a doozy: wanting to be saved.
Isn’t that one of the reasons we check email, check our social media? We’re looking for something momentary to make us feel better (even when we’re feeling good: one can always feel a tad better), something to remind us that yes, we are important and yes, we are on a path.
Well, everything can be a path. Therefore, surely the best path is the one we tread entirely for ourselves, without the need for anyone else to continue to provide it?
This is of course not to say that we don’t need others, or that collaborating with others isn’t a joy and fulfilling in personal and professional ways.
It is simply to say that feelings of flatness and helplessness that stem from seeing nothing on the horizon are malleable; they can be affected and transformed by the feeler. It is up to us to have joyous, creative, productive things to work on and live through that carry the promise of generating other joyous, creative, productive things, many of them in collaboration with others. It is only (I say ‘only’ with a measure of irony) a matter being acutely aware of the track we have carved for ourselves and then eagerly sniffing around for new paths, great and small.
Our struggles in life, these gray, empty moments, can be the spur to greater creativity, innovation and risk.
We don’t have to take risks purely for adrenalin, or for some notion of self-actualization. Nor do risks have to be life-threatening. We can also be motivated to risk in order to enrich our lives with greater color, vitality and the promise of more life flowing in, and these risks may not seem at all like risks to others. They need only be risks to us.
Risk is not exclusively the province of ‘brave’ people; it is there in manifold forms for those of us who need to wake up, on at least more than half of our days, looking forward to what will unfold.