Monday’s Meditation: On Safe Bets & Settling
Life would be really neat and tidy if the next best option always presented itself to us–before, that is, we’d gone and given up our current circumstances.
If you could float on your lily pad until and if a better one floated your way; if you could survey the whole scene from a distance before agreeing to give up on your familiar–that would be a safe life.
But it probably wouldn’t be too thrilling, or fulfilling.
And anyhow, life doesn’t follow clearly defined patterns, nor provide us with the obvious next step because if it did, we wouldn’t grow. We wouldn’t be forced to cultivate a skill for daring. Maybe the point is learning how to act without guarantees.
The irony is that as we hold onto the familiar, biding our time until something better presents itself, we are opposing that which we claim we’re hoping to attract. Staying with what’s safe and settling for less-than doesn’t open the way for new possibilities; it prevents our obtaining what we really desire because it holds us in fear.
At the moment we project the idea that another reality might exist, our reluctance to relinquish the safe bet suggests we don’t actually believe anything better will come our way.
Thinking you intend to trade up, or replace, or veer from is not the same as doing so. And fear and inaction are two things that most certainly do not help us manifest our truest desires–not in our finances or our careers or our relationships.
Necessity creates opportunity. Realizing you have no place or thing or person to turn back to can be that which finally causes you to purposefully and boldly blaze your way forward.
Does this mean you might free fall for a bit? Yes, there might be some of that. But that feeling, if you learn to accept, rather than resist it, can be one of the most glorious, life-affirming, I-am-free, I-am-alive, I-am-being, hear-me-roar feelings of all.
The scary truth is that in all likelihood you won’t change your life until your old, familiar fall-backs are released. This is as true for the pair of worn out sneakers you’re holding onto until you get a better pair as it is your holding onto a unfulfilling job until you can find a better one. Until the old fall back is released, the space for the new will not appear.
Of course there are ways and times when it’s possible to scope out the options before risking it all, and when this is the case, there is certainly no shame in doing so. We should always use whatever, and the most, information available to us at any given moment. But if we wait around for all the clues to fill in before making our next move we can be guaranteed of one thing only: more waiting.
To the person who’s sitting, absentmindedly biting their nails perhaps, on their lily pad, waiting for something better to eventually float their way, something that will excite them, will light them up, I would say: be prepared to stay right where you are for the long haul.
Those who sit and wait, those who do not honor their worthiness, and those who do not zealously pursue that which makes their spirit tap dance with happiness reap little to no reward.
Be daring, you. Make like frogs.
Even if you don’t quite land it, the secret is: you can swim. (No one said it had been done in one motion, you know.)
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