Life Lesson #6: Risk

 “You have to take risks.

We will only understand the miracle of life fully

when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

Paulo Coelho

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The world can look like a scary place. There is a lot of uncertainty out there. Through the eyes of fear we see only things that could go wrong, are potentially dangerous, that should be avoided. Through our commitment to safety we stay in our comfort zones, we do what we’ve always done, we keep our guard up and our shells on. This way of living may keep things somewhat predictable, but it doesn’t allow for the unexpected. It doesn’t allow for the miracle.

When we choose to risk we say, “I might not have the whole story. I want to see what more is out there.” We open ourselves up to the miracle. We open ourselves up to more possibility and joy than we’ve ever encountered before because we are doing something we’ve never done before. When we choose to risk we choose to live more fully and experience the world more deeply.

Saying yes to the scariest things isn’t an easy task. Saying yes when the future is a giant question mark isn’t an easy thing. Saying yes when our normal response is no isn’t an easy thing. But, it is the only way to let the greatness stirring come to the surface.

Sometimes risk is defined as just a physical adventure. A risk-taker is the mountain climber in the poster at the outdoor store that is hundreds of feet above the ground and relying only on their skill and muscle in order to stay connected to the rock. Or a risk taker is the man balancing on a tight rope strung between two buildings. The thing is, risk isn’t only a physical thing. Risking is sometimes even harder when it comes to matters of the heart or aspirations or just about anything that might not work out they way we want it and could cause us pain or discomfort or having to start all over again at some point in the future.

Why risk? Why not stay in the normal, the expected?  Because all the things I want most in my life – love, deep connections, lasting friendships, books full of memories and more – are only attainable if I am willing to risk jumping over the hurdles and breaking through the walls that would hinder them from happening. I am attempting to practice taking the types of risks in my life that result in fully understanding the miracle, as stated in the quote above, and, even though I don’t have it all figured out, I am willing to grow into someone that will be able to experience that life and be open to the miracles available to me because I have learned to get out of my own way.

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