Life is a Risk Carnival...
Yes, I know that is not the Bible verse. And that is intentional. I saw a t-shirt the other day with a quote, misread the quote, liked it and viola! It is today’s topic.
From the moment we take our first breath, life is risky. We are no longer encased in our mother’s wombs safe from the perils of the world, and its effect on us. Not that there isn’t risk in the womb...there is, it is usually safer in there though than out here. I guess from the moment we begin to form, there is always the risk that something is going to interrupt our growth and cause us to be waylaid, or ended completely. That is just the risk of living.
Life is a risk carnival. Lots of lights and sounds and opportunities to lose your shirt while you try to hammer things out. But it is also so much fun. The Ventura Fair will be back this year and I can’t wait! I love the fair! It is so much fun for me and the kids. It makes me sad that my son won’t be here with us this year. But maybe next year...
Living is a risky proposition. It is hard and causes us to do all sorts of things to avoid being hurt. Life is scary and if we are paying attention, we would never get out of bed! But we all have to choose the amount of risk we want to live with. We can minimize the risk but we can never remove all risk. It just isn’t possible with the whole living thing. Those ideas are incongruent.
But we can decide what type of risk is ok. What type isn’t for us. And sometimes we can’t even do that. God, life, or circumstances throws us into situations where we are swimming a risky tide and every stroke threatens to take us under, never to return us to the surface. However not all tides are killers. The issue is that we never get to be completely sure.
Yesterday I was presented with information that made me afraid. Someone told me something about them that caused all my fear facets to go off. And typically when this happens, I run. I can’t stand the risk. So I hightail it out of there. And I will not lie, that was a huge struggle yesterday. However, I have gotten better at trusting God lately and I just decided that I would hold the line, acknowledge the risk and keep moving forward anyway with this person. I had nothing to do with this person coming into my life. Zero. But they are here and perhaps I am going to learn something new. I pray that it is something new...I don’t want to learn what I already know, please God, seriously, let there be a new lesson in this. I really need no further confirmation of the old. I am replete with confirmation of a lot of crap. Please don’t let this just be the latest version...
See I don’t know. And there is no way to know from where I sit today. None. I just have to trust that whatever benevolent force led me this far, will continue to move me forward towards growth, healing, love and a better understanding of who I am and how I show up.
I see going in that there could be issues. I see going in, that there is a great possibility for things to work out poorly. But there is also the possibility for greatness. So I am going to hang in there and see whether or not this is just round 467 in a lesson that I obviously should have learned 466 lessons ago, or if this is something new.
And just like a carnival, I don’t have to ride all the rides just because I am there. I can pick and choose which ones look fun, which ones look like they are not put together well and are resulting death traps and which ones will make me vomit. I get to choose which ride I go on, and which one I do not.
Life is risky. And I am learning that there is idiot risk and compassionate risk. Idiot risk is where I enter a situation, like this one, without even thinking that what I am doing or engaging in is risky. When I tell myself and everyone else a story that whatever I am doing is great and is going to be great because _______. I am totally engaging in risk idiocy.
But when I can dispassionately (well, as dispassionately as I can - I am a pretty fiery passionate person) evaluate the risk. Write it down. Consider it. Acknowledge it. Then trust God will lead me where I am suppose to go next, that feels a lot less risky - compassionate risk if you will.
Life is a risk carnival. Some risks look like the Ferris wheel, lots of fun and a very amazing view if you dare. Others, others look like that thing that drops you from dangerous heights and makes my knees weak with every drop. No thank you. I do not want to get on that ride.
And so it is with life, I get to walk around and do my best to notice the risk, to show up for my life and work hard to see situations for how they are, not how I wish them to be. I get to decide which ride or midway game or exhibit I want to peruse, or not.
Likely the most important part of this whole life deal is being able to be honest with myself about the risks that exist and the likely outcomes of each. Then not doing the thing that seems like such a good idea at the time...telling myself a story to make myself feel safe with a level of risk that I have failed to evaluate and be honest about. That is what, in the end, for me, makes life’s risk carnival such a fucker. It isn’t the risk that is risky, it is my own failure to appreciate the risk, to lie to myself about the risk and to proceed anyway with all my made up stories and now beliefs based on a fiction I told myself.
I know how this one ends...I am baffled as to how this ended up this way because I told myself fancy stories that minimized the risk...instead of doing the actual work where I see the risk and just let it be there without any backstory or future tripping.
Life’s risky carnival better ridden with eyes and mind wide open, than with a closed mind and heart about exactly what I am doing and why.