The Reward of Risk: Living Authentically

April 13, 2016

 

Hi Lovely,

I happen to be an optimist and always have been. Even when times have been more than trying the silver lining just seems more obvious to me than the dark cloud. It’s just how I’m built.

 
But that doesn’t keep me from knowing that reality can deliver a far different outcome than what was hoped for and in fact some shit just isn’t going to work out the way it was planned.  Some of the stuff we try is going to end up in a “what the f***” was I thinking” garbage heap.
 
But we have to try it anyway.
 
Because the only thing worse than not trying is wondering what would have happened.
 
Wondering what would have happened is like walking around with a pebble stuck in your shoe. You know it’s there but somehow don’t have the time or energy to take the shoe off to have a look.  So the pebble stays there and that uncomfortable I know I need to do something but don’t have the time or am too scared to do it feeling stays there.  Until it just becomes normal. 

The pebbles I’m referring to are the whispers, hunches and gut feelings that come over us. The idea to try something, write something, start something or create something, however crazy it sounds.
 
We tell ourselves the pebbles aren’t real, or that they aren’t for us, but there they are, in our thoughts, not going away.
 
Turns out, the pebbles that make their way into our shoes, the ideas and thoughts that cross our minds, happen to be there on purpose and are really important. It turns out each one that comes our way is a message waiting to be heard. It turns out, your spirit is talking to you.
 
Every time we dismiss a whisper and ignore what we know is there we dim a vital connection our heart so desperately wants to have with us, and we begin to turn away from our authenticity.
 
Sometimes being authentic means we are different than everyone else. Sometimes being authentic means that people may think we are weird and crazy. (As much as we all love to say we are weird, we really don’t like being the odd man out.) 

Being authentic means we have to believe in ourselves and take the time to stop and take a good look at the pebble in our shoe. Being authentic means we may fail.
 
Scratch that.
 
Being authentic means WE WILL FAIL.
 
Maybe that failure looks like a marriage ending in divorce, or a college degree never finished, or even worse - a college degree mastered and finished only to figure out that’s not what we want to do after all. 
 
But we’ve gotten all tangled up and have decided to measure success with what the outside world thinks of us, not how we feel.

Life doesn’t look nice and neat and fit in a square check box on an application when we live authentically. It’s messy and all over the place and has no real rhyme or reason.
 
Until we look back.
 
Because when you answer the call of your heart and live according to your authenticity and then stop and look back, it all makes perfect sense. All those pebbles seem to line up and make a beautiful trail right to your heart.
 
That divorce led to an open heart more capable of giving and receiving love, that abandoned college degree lead to real-life heart-fulfilling work, that college degree in a field you actually loathed showed you with certain clarity what you do love to do.

The fear of failure lays on us so thick that sometimes it keeps us from really living. We stay where we don’t want to be and keep walking, however uncomfortable, because the risk of failure is too scary too face.
 
But maybe we have failure and success confused.
 
Real, lasting success, the kind that makes your heart content and happy, is being who we really are – the weird one full of crazy ideas and wishful thinking who isn’t afraid to try and gives those notions and ideas a chance to breathe and come to life. Real success is having the courage to be authentic, regardless of the outcome.
 
Instead of looking at that pebble as a pain in the ass or annoyance, maybe we look at that pebble as an excuse to change our shoes and reevaluate our happiness and what brings us joy.
 
Because when we listen, truly listen, and act on what we are being called to do, we invite authenticity in.  Then pebbles can be seen as divine guidance, not as disturbances, keeping us true, real and most important, content with who we are.
 
Here’s to getting off the current path long enough to take off your shoe and accept, no matter how big or how small, the pebble that’s been in there waiting to be discovered. 

Here's to a much more authentic walk through life.  I'll see you there. :)


Lots of love,
 
Danielle

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Copyright 2018 Danielle Vaughn, LLC