I have so many thoughts about our new WOW, let’s just jump right into it. And please forgive my momentary bursts into song.
It was just that kind of day:
Seriously gang, we’ve gotten the word RISK THREE TIMES since I started pulling a word of the week!
I have to say, too, that I always put the cards back in the bag sort of strategically (around the edges) because truthfully, I like getting NEW words.
So we make plans and God laughs.
And the universe is nudging.
I remember back in the 70’s I was hugely into roller skating. Every Saturday my Dad would drop me off for my beginner lesson followed by a “free skate” matinee. After the matinee an intermediate-level class was scheduled (They jumped! And spun!) that I LONGED to go to. My best friend, Chrissy Johnson was in that class, and on this particular Saturday I was staying through her super-cool kids class so I could go home with her for a sleepover that night.
I sat in one of the benches in the perimeter just WISHING I could be in the class with her.
After a few minutes passed, I got the brilliant idea that if the teachers could only see how Dorothy Hamill-ish I was (on wheels, not blades) they would surely stop everything, roll over to me and invite me to join in.
While those in the rink were practicing their turns and leaps, I began trying to do the same outside of the railing. I even had the hand movements down, flailing my arms in what I thought were artistic and inspired ways.
So I did a few jumps (a bit loudly) to show I wasn’t afraid of being airborne.
I positioned myself right in front of the windowed booth where the “DJ” and management were stationed and did a thrilling demonstration of an arched-back stop, directly blocking their entire view and ending with a head toss and blinding smile in their direction.
All that was missing was a “ta-da!” and wild applause.
As I waited for the inevitable “Where have you BEEN all our lives?” instead it was announced over the loudspeaker that if you were not a student in the intermediate class to please be seated as the perimeter was not intended for performances, which were distracting to the REAL skaters.
Okay, they didn’t say it exactly like that, but I got the point.
By now, how many of you are saying to yourself, “Where the heck is she going with this story?”
Well, I’ll tell ya.
It has occurred to me that much of my life I have been waiting to be DISCOVERED. Maybe you have, too.
Surely if we perform well enough, some benevolent soul will see what the world has been missing and give us a platform (or rink…or a stage with spotlights..or a raise…or permission to move…or a – well, fill in the blank for whatever you’ve been longing for).
What has struck me is that this is a very passive (aggressive), but weak approach to getting what you want out of life.
I don’t want OTHER people to hold the power for my destiny. Why should my sense of happiness and fulfillment be contingent on someone other than me believing in me?!
Instead of the theatrics or exhausting performances (which never got me much, how about you?) perhaps this RISK word is saying, “Um, why don’t YOU just go for what you want out of life?” Or (shockingly) just ask for it!
We fear putting ourselves out there because of the chance of rejection. But hearing the word no, last time I checked, wasn’t a fatal blow.
Had that nine-year-old girl risked it and just ASKED if she could participate in the class, who knows, they might have let me!
Or, they might have said no because of a very good reason.
Instead, my takeaway was that I just wasn’t good enough. Because in my little girl mind, had I been good enough they would have made an exception for me.
My 52-year old self knows how ridiculous that sounds. But if I transpose that experience into the present-day, I consider that some of my takeaways in life have been based on faulty premises; premises born of dancing around my desires because I was too afraid to claim them for my own and head squarely in their direction.
Even with this blogging venture, there has been this little part of me that has thought, “Maybe if Elizabeth Gilbert or Oprah would somehow see and like something I’ve written and share it with their respective 5 billion followers, I can…”
…I can what?
Hmmm…good question! After a moment’s fear about the answer, here goes:
I can fulfill my dream of encouraging people full-time, writing a book, speaking around the country about life lessons, helping people give themselves a break, make them laugh and in the process bring some joy into their lives.
Yep. That’s my dream. But I can’t pin my hopes on Liz or Oprah (though hey, ladies, if you’re out there…) riding in on a white Mercedes to make my dreams come true.
Here’s one thing I believe – our dreams are planted in our hearts from the time we are born. They are Divine. They were never deposited in our hearts to be a thorn or to frustrate us through life.
Your dreams, my dreams – they were meant to bloom.
So I say to all of us this week, don’t abdicate your dreams. Let’s not dance around our life’s vision.
Oh! And for some of you, please give yourselves permission to HAVE a dream…to want something. Whether it is your health, a husband, a new car or an artistic outlet…let it breathe this week.
Take the risk of admitting what you want. And with risk as our nudging WOW, maybe even ask for it.
One reader at a time, one day at a time, I’m practicing what I’m preaching.
And I’m cheering you on all the way.