what if we actually went for every little thing we wanted to go for? what if we let the dreams that often lay hidden deep in our hearts out for air? yes, we have all heard it so many times it has almost lost it’s punch, but what if, what if we knew we could not fail? what would we do?
upon closer examination, what if the question were just the teeniest bit different? what if it is less about knowing we could not fail, and more about accepting that we will fail? that we will fail over and over and over again? and then, one day, we won’t and of course, this will erase all failures from memory and we will forget that they ever happened in the first place. and then it starts all again. isn’t that the way it works?
so then, therefore, henceforth, forever and always, we can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that every perceived failure, every time it didn’t work or we think we made a mistake, every time we fall into that common and most grievous human error of thinking it or they or we are not good enough, it is actually a success! a moment to celebrate.
a moment to till the soil and learn what there is to learn. a moment to allow and explore whatever feelings are coming to the surface at any given one of these moments. to examine these feelings and let them expose all of the judgements, all of the misunderstandings, all of the thoughts that may keeping us suspended in inaction to begin with. a moment to learn, to experience, to know that we are always, unarguably enough.
hypothetically speaking, let’s say there was something she wanted to do. write a novel perhaps. make a phone call. run a 10k. expose a truth of hers to someone who she is afraid of disappointing by sharing said truth. let’s say that the thought of doing any of these things through to completion was something that scared the hell out of her.
what if no one likes the novel? what if she can’t finish it because she has made it too complicated, as perhaps she tends to do, always, with everything? what if it succeeds and she has to write another? what if she is writing it forever? what if she is exposed as a fraud writing about a time and a race she has seemingly no connection with? what if this story, this skill, this unarguable talent goes her whole life unexposed? wouldn’t that be such a tragedy? would it be? would it actually be? to anyone but her? and what if it wasn’t? what if it didn’t matter at all?
what if the phone call made her an annoyance? what if she disturbed his day? what if she got in the way of his life? what if he didn’t actually want to talk to her? what if he did? what if he was ecstatic beyond belief to hear from her? what if hearing from her made him question the status of the rest of his life? what if they fell in love? what if, on some level, they already were? what if they weren’t even close? what if it didn’t matter at all?
what if she couldn’t complete the 6.21 miles? what if she collapsed? what if she finished after everyone else? what if it hurt? the whole time? what if it was easy? what if every step she took was a meditation about the privilege of having a body that could move at all let alone on it’s feet for 6.21 miles? what if she walked the whole thing? what if she ran the whole thing? what if she let her body and her feet and her breath and her pace and her heart show her what to do? at least for 6.21 miles? what if she didn’t finish? what if she did? what if it didn’t matter at all?
what if she told the woman she admired as much as the sun that she needed to leave, or at least start the process? what if she told her mentor, her teacher, her friend that her heart wasn’t in it the way it used to be? what if she put that bold stake in the ground for the calling that had lay deep within her own heart since she was old enough to take pen to paper? what if she got painfully honest about how torturous it had been to stay tightly wrapped up in the rose bud waiting, for no good reason, no good reason other than fear, how torturous it had been waiting to bloom and share her scent with the world?
the thing is, she realized the moment her beloved teacher said the words ‘i wanted to check in on how you were doing?'... the thing is, she realized as she felt her feet hit the pavement over and over and over again for 2 miles while training... the thing is, she realized as her heart leapt into her chest upon selecting his number in her phone... the thing is, she realized as she sat down in front of the 418 pages she had already written, she would never know unless she did. and the thing is, she realized after all these moments is that it mattered to her to know.
so she did. each thing. and it was terrifying. and she questioned if she could or if she was ready or if this was right or wrong or brilliant or crap or destiny or bullshit the entire time. and she felt things. she felt fear, she felt sadness, she cried about things she never cried about 6 years ago. in the doing she allowed for the healing to occur, healing she didn’t even know was still there. and she kept going. no failure, no success. just movement, just kindness. and she kept on moving forward observing all of the things that came with any and all actions she took and flooding herself with love at every turn.
she said the thing, and it was met with a loving heart and a warm embrace and all the support she could ever wish for and more. she covered the distance during her training, experimenting with every step, lighter, heavier, slower, faster, walking, running and she enjoyed all 2 miles. she made the call, heart in throat, sharing her well wishes and hearing in his truthful voice that he was happy to hear from her. she wrote the words, communed with her story, prayed to her characters, and made some sort of sense of the journey ahead.
and the thing is, as great as that all is, it didn’t matter at all.
what mattered is that she did it.
what mattered is she took a floodlight to the areas of her consciousness that thought she could not, should not, mustn’t do the things her heart wanted to do. and she did them anyway. she took a floodlight to the places that believed she did not deserve to live the life she wanted to live and showed them a different option.
what if the doing of this created the life of her dreams? what if it didn’t? what if even that didn’t matter? what if the only thing that mattered was the loving kindness she showed herself and others through this grand fucking experiment called life?
what if the only thing that mattered is how we are with ourselves and each other as we move forward in loving action towards our heart’s truest wish?
what if all that mattered is that we went for it?