Are you afraid to make a difference? Or are you afraid of trying? Are you playing it safe for fear of failure or humiliation? Are you working to create a life subsisting solely of comfort?
To some degree, we all do this. We're trained that this is the way it works. We grow up minding our elders and respecting them no matter what their behavior is like. We're taught that the best we can hope for is to go to school, get an education, get a job, get married, have kids and grow old while saving our money for a rainy day. We're taught that if we go to church, pay our taxes and behave in just the right manner with just the right amount of respect and humility, no tragedy will ever come to us. Everything will be just so.
But then along the way, something does happen. A loved one dies, someone comes down with an inexplicable disease, we fall flat on our face in some unpredictable way ... something happens to make us realize that these rules we're taught are based on a less-than-stable foundation.
You see, there are no guarantees. Shit happens. It does. Your high school crush might die in a drunk driving accident; your sister might have a physical and mental ailments that no one can ever explain; your mom might fall prey to a rare autoimmune disease that claims her life in a cruel, disheartening process; or something else entirely might befall you.
The question is not whether or not it will happen to you, cause in some way, somehow, when you least expect it, chances are good it will. The question is, how do you handle it when it does?
Does it define you? Or does it strengthen you?
Does it own you? Or does it inspire you?
Do you see your strength when you pick yourself up off the ground and pat the dust off your fanny? Or do you cling to the pain with the sense of age-old entitlement?
When you step into your power, you will shine. And you'll shine in a way that's attractive. You find others flocking to your side, as your presence gives them hope and they can’t even put their finger on why.
I know because I’ve been that person. I’ve been the person who discovered that life wasn’t as simple as I’d been led to believe. I’ve been the person who was afraid to be seen and heard. I’ve been the person who hid behind excuse after excuse as to why I could never have the life of my dreams, teaching and writing and parenting with joy. And I’ve been the person who decided to no longer to succumb to fear and to instead choose to live a life of fearless love.
And here I am — no longer afraid to make a difference, no longer afraid to live a life of joy. Yes, still making mistakes at times, but now surrounded by a carefully chosen circle of never ending inspiration and hope. It’s possible.
One of my circle wrote me recently. She said that I had inspired her to live an authentic life — a life without fear of being seen, a life of transparency. To me, that is infinitely more important than anything else we are trained to seek.
It takes time and discipline, but I offer this to you humbly: Go for it. Life is short. We’re all in this together.