I have to admit- risking is not something I come to easily. I have often admired people willing to take a leap of faith, willing to step into things previously unknown. But that is not me. You will not find me jumping off of cliffs into a deep pool of ocean. You will not find me running into a burning building. Sometimes, it's just hard to try new foods or to get into a social group where I have not previously been.
A part of the reason I am risk-averse is fear. There are times when I hold back, stay silent, disengage because the fear is so deeply felt. Fear of making a mistake, fear of people not liking me, fear of what I do not know, fear that what I believe will happen will actually happen. There was a time in my life when I lived like this all the time. It took deep healing work to get out of that place.
Part of the problem in considering risk is that I think of the big ones. I think of those folks who go bungee jumping or sky diving. I think of people who constantly travel alone to places they have never been. These are big risks! And risk doesn't have to look like that is our everyday lives. In fact, it often doesn't.
Where I find risk in my life is risking to be honest with the people I love. There are times when the honesty may mean saying something I think they won't like. Risk can look like reaching out to someone who you didn't previously have a friendship with, even when it may come to pass that you won't like this person or they might not like you. Risk can be admitting that I don't understand something in front of others. It could be showing up to that action or that protest for the first time, even though you don't feel like an expert and you don't know anyone there.
In this way, it is possible for me to embrace risk. In the everyday ordinariness of risk, I am able to do it.
Without risking, we don't grow.
Growth comes from challenging ourselves to learn new things. Growth comes from risking to try something different, even if it may not succeed. Growth is in the honesty and the reaching out. Growth is risky.
May we all have the capacity to embrace risk, however we are able, to grow beyond our wildest imaginings