GAIN AND LEARN
I re-read a few paragraphs I underlined some time ago, and I find this gem by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, included in her necessary book, “Life Lessons”:
“What would happen if we started to take some risks, if we faced our fears? And what if we further followed our dreams, if we obeyed our wishes? What if we allowed ourselves to experiment freely about love and to find fulfillment in our relationships? What kind of world would this be? A world without fear. It may be hard to believe, but life has many more things that we would experience.
Many more things would be possible if we failed to be captives of fear.
There is a new world inside and outside us –a world in which there is less fear– waiting to be discovered.
But it is easy to experience fear where there is no danger. That kind of fear is fictional, not real. It may look real but has no true basis and yet keeps us awake at night, keeps us from living. It appears to have no purpose or clemency, it paralyzes us and weakens our spirit whenever we let it in. This kind of fear is based on the past and triggers the fear of the future. But this made up fear actually serves a purpose: it gives us the opportunity to learn to choose love. It is our soul’s scream asking for growing up, asking for healing. They are opportunities to choose from a-new and in a different way, to choose love over fear, reality over illusion, the present over the past. For purposes of this chapter and for our happiness, when it comes to refering to fear, we are talking about these fictitious fears that devalue our lives.
If we break through our fears, if we can seize every opportunity, we can live the life that we had only dared to dream. We can live free of judgment, without fear of censure of others, without restriction.
Our fears do not prevent death, but they keep on slowing down life. We hardly come to recognize how much we devote life to handle fear and its effects. Fear is a shadow that blocks all: our love, our true feelings, our happiness, our very self being.”
The actions arising from our courage puts us above our means and shape our lives. Because courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the awareness that there is something that is worth the risk, even if we fear.
Interestingly enough, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who is considered the world’s leading authority on accompanying dying people says that if you ask a person who is about to die what would they do if they could stay alive, the answer would be in most cases: “I would risk more”. When, again, Dr. Kübler-Ross asked the dying why about their response, the notions she received were characterized by the following style of reflection: “Because what I wanted to do and did not because of fear, or that I meant to say and I did not because of modesty or fear, or that expression of affection I repressed because of an excessive sense of the ridiculous, seem an absolute trifle to me now I face death. Death is something that I do not decide on, life pushes it and now, facing it, I realize that all these circumstances that I looked down as a terrible challenge are a trifle compared with the fact that I am dying and there is no turning back”. This is certainly a response full of common sense when we consider that life is a great opportunity to take the risk to learn, grow, share and love.
Maybe things that seem so difficult are not if we take a chance and if we think that thanks to the courage that is born of love we can overcome many challenges and difficulties. What if we fail? Well, at least we will have learnt something in the process and perhaps other unexpected doors open on our way of life.
As once a woman hardened by life difficulties told me: “Look, Álex, that well known catchpharse that goes ‘Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose’ is not true. Is it not? –I replied. No!, she assured. The saying should go ‘Sometimes you gain, and sometimes you learn’. “Mind you, my friend, she added, one has to have the desire to draw lessons so they do not go through the same suffering, if it is in our hands”.
Sometimes you gain, sometimes you learn. Let’s meditate on it and learn the art of navigating through life.
Kisses and hugs,
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