"If you can't afford to lose, then you can't afford to play the game." Back when my kids were much younger, this was my standard, not-very-gracious response when one of them would burst into tears or blow a fuse because they had lost at a board game. In my mind, sitting down to play a game meant also assuming that there was a very real possibility that you would lose. But losing was worth the risk, because the game was more about the social interaction than about who won or lost, right? Besides, if you were afraid of losing and were unwilling to take that risk, then, as a consequence, you had absolutely no possibility of winning, either. Play the game and risk losing? Intolerable! Don't play, just to be safe, and give up any chance of winning? Also intolerable! What a quandry!
The lovely GKC once said: "The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it."
If you're too afraid of dying, you'll be hindered from truly living. If you can't afford to lose, then you can't afford to play the game.
Is there something you are afraid of losing in this life? Something you can't risk giving up...to the extent that you can't really embrace it either?
There are things like that in my life. Relationships - where I'm so afraid of doing something wrong that I can't do anything right. Dreams - that I'm afraid of not realizing, so I only halfheartedly attempt. Hopes - hopes that would be so painful to live without that I don't dare whisper them even to myself.
That women's training conference I mentioned a few posts back? A few of the things said and taught at the conference really stuck in my head. Have been banging around up there ever since. One of them was...
Courage is not not being afraid. Courage is seeing the thing that frightens you most - and then walking toward it.
And so today I am praying for the grace to take a step forward.
1 month ago