It’s easy to limit ourselves. We do it often, usually without even thinking. For many, it’s our default setting. Our auto-pilot. Anytime we think of taking a risk, of doing something that might scare us, or stretch us, or possibly cause discomfort (and perhaps great happiness!), we balk, cower and think, “Oh, hell no!”
I get it. Anti-risk is usually is my default and I have to take moments of quiet and reflection to get past fears and push through what could be waiting on the other side of that line – the line you cross when you open yourself up to possibilities.
The thing about possibilities is that they seem to come at a risk. We could get hurt. We could find our destiny (and that might be scary). It might mean doing something that makes us face a phobia. We might fail. We might succeed … and why is it just as scary to succeed as it is to fail?
A year ago, I joined a group of over 600 phenomenal women who took a creative business e-course by renowned artist, Kelly Rae Roberts. Kelly Rae calls herself a possibilitarian: A person who looks for possibilities, not limitations. This is brave; she inspires and encourages others to be brave, too.
As part of this month’s blog circle (because of moving back to the United States and The Divorce, I’ve slunk out of the last few months’ circles), the group decided to celebrate how we are seeing possibilities, how we’re pushing ourselves.
Since September of last year, I’ve jumped. High. Far. Long. I have flown. I finally accepted that I’m a writer; I wrote a book and published it; I’ve made this blog successful and turned it into a resource for people moving to Myanmar; I’ve become a professional writer (earning my income writing) – magic happens when you declare who you are; I’ve interviewed several inspiring, incredible people. I lived in a mysterious, beautiful country.
But what I think I’m most proud of is being brave enough to pack up and move home to the United States with my daughter after her dad said he no longer wanted to be married. In that sorrow – and that sorrow continues – I choose to see the possibility for good, for strength, for growth, for renewal. I see the possibility of finding a home in my own skin that I feel good about. I see the possibility of remaining a familial unit in a very untraditional way: a family in the sense that my daughter has parents who love her and who respect/care about each other, too … just not parents who are married to eachother.
Don’t get me wrong: I get super scared sometimes and I’m still not exactly sure how all these pieces are going to fit together. I live in my home, I work from home, and I’m writing. My daughter has just found a new school that I think will suit her. I’ll figure out how to fit in my community, make my own mark. Over a year ago, I don’t think I would’ve had the faith and the conviction that things would work out. But they do.
You might not know how it will turn out: Well, the truth is, you never – ever – know how something will turn out. You have to see the potential for beauty, though. Even in a failure. Even in a mistake. (Though I try not to believe in the word “mistake” much.)
Occasionally we make choices that bring us pain. What I’ve learned, though, is that even in pain, there is possibility. There is a beautiful, messy lesson in there that will cut through the pain and bring you to face the sun. That makes it worth it.
You learn about yourselves and others. You learn who you really are and you begin to stand firmly on your own two feet. And when you know you’ve got soft ground beneath you, you start to jump. Dive. Swim. Leap. Whatever. But you move. You get out. You try. You make an effort.
And you believe that no matter what – no matter the success or the flat-on-your-face smashed-up hurt – you’ll be OK. You’ll wipe the dirt off your knees and go for it again and again and again. Soon, you will look for possibilities and this view of the world will become your auto-pilot. Your new default.
Worst case scenario? You’ll have lots of material for writing good stories.
I believe this with my whole heart and wish for you all the possibilities you can see.
What are ways that you’re brave and seek out possibilities?
Next, please go check-out my flying sister, Lisa Ullrich, and her post about how she’s becoming a possibilitarian over here.
P.S. If you want to know how things are shaping up over in the Pacific Northwest (USA) for my daughter and I, check-out my professional writing blog, Becky Cavender.