Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
for me, there has never been a more profound statement.
this is my favorite quote, and one i try to keep uppermost in my mind.
anais was right.
my world gets bigger when i face my fears.
and display some courage.
it’s hard, but the difference is amazing.
when i’m not at my bravest, i feel myself shrinking inside.
i feel small.
i feel helpless.
and i feel the opportunities disappearing.
but when i tackle what makes me anxious,
when i go after what i want,
when i do something that makes me shake inside (in a good way),
i feel immense.
i feel as if my life has more meaning than before.
i feel like risks are definitely worth taking.
because, without them, i’m not really living.
i’m just existing.
and what would be the point of that?
i have a recent example.
two and a half years ago i was hit by a drunk driver on an interstate highway.
the car that hit me bumped me off the road, spun me around three times,
and threw my car across a ditch, finally stopping when it hit a small hill.
i was okay (after some physical therapy).
but my car was totalled.
and i was very very shaken.
the experience felt so out of my control,
that i haven’t been able to get rid of that feeling.
every time i get on that same freeway.
(upsetting for someone who used to love to drive.)
on tuesday i had to take my dad to the airport.
it’s about an hour away from his house.
an easy trip on a beautiful sunny day.
but i was afraid.
i had to drive that highway.
i was frightened because i remembered that helplessness i had felt.
i remembered how quickly the situation had changed.
and that terrifying feeling when i lost control.
but i got in the car.
i took my dad to the airport.
and everything went just fine.
in fact, as i drove, i thought about anais nin’s quote.
i thought about how not driving on that highway had been holding me back.
it had been shrinking my life.
then i realized how free i felt.
and i felt my power coming back.
the power i need to keep propelling me forward.
so think about moments that you’ve had.
think about times when you’ve noticed your life shrinking.
because you were afraid.
you were fearing something.
you were unable to step out into the open and do what you knew you needed to do.
you know what i’m talking about.
you can feel the difference.
you don’t feel capable.
you feel reduced.
like i did that day in the car.
compare that to the times when you’ve taken necessary risks.
when you’ve boldly marched onward in spite of your wildly beating heart.
and you’ve erased the fears.
you’ve forced your way through them.
you’ve conquered them.
maybe you’ve even obliterated them.
and you feel your power.
you feel that immenseness.
you feel in control,
and no longer helpless.
you feel like you can do anything.
and the world, as the saying goes, is there for the taking.
life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.