And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin
I just read a quote that said, “Fear is stronger than love.” This quote got me thinking and I agree with the quote, I think that fear is stronger than love. And at the same time I also think that fear is easier and less painful than love. It isn’t hard to tiptoe through life being comfortable and avoiding the things and situations that scare us. Say someone is scared of public speaking; all he has to do is stay away from the classes, job or careers that require public speaking. That’s not hard, there are plenty of things one can do for the rest of his life that don’t require public speaking. On the other hand, it can be so unbelievably uncomfortable, and even painful at times, to go after what we really love to do in life. Maybe this is why people have a harder time falling in love with anything, as they get older. The pain it takes to go full heartedly into a game or work starts with dedicating and insane amount of energy and time to practice, moves into playing full out at every game and then sometimes ends in enduring a failure or loss. We might not like to admit that we give into our fears at times, and don’t go after what we love, but we can’t deny the feeling that develops inside when we know that we are stifling our full potential. Whether that potential is being expressed in a sports game, school, work or other relationships in life, we know when we are closed tight like the bud that hasn’t yet broken open and bloomed. There’s a feeling that tugs at us from the inside, a feeling of knowing that we have so much more to give to life than what we are giving.
This leaves us with the question of what do we do when we feel tightly closed like a bud? What do we do to overcome the pain of fully blooming? How do we release the familiarity of avoiding what we are afraid of and fully take on going after what we love?
I don’t think that there is an answer that is perfect for everyone. Part of the beauty of becoming something greater than we currently are, is that we get to discover what it is going to take to bloom. We get to discover who we have to be in order to fully open and not be afraid to go after what we want. We get to choose what more we can give during practice, during a game, while studying or being with friends and family. Does blooming mean getting up earlier and practicing for an extra hour? Does it mean playing until you feel like you’re going to die, every game, no matter what? Maybe you study instead of watching TV or going out with friends? Or you are acting only in an appreciative manner to those closest to you? Some of these new actions may not be comfortable, maybe they will be downright painful at times. But until the pain of staying exactly where you are becomes greater than the pain of making some of these changes, you can never expect to bloom. How willing are you to move past your fear and embrace the pain it takes to change? When you can move past the fear and pain, then you can be truly open to having everything you want in life.