‘If you can’t cross over alive,
how can you cross when you’re dead?
I love this – if you don’t trust in yourself to cross over into who you really are when you are alive, how on earth do you think you’ll be welcomed to transition up to heaven having chosen to live incompletely? I suppose if you believe in the many lives theory of existences it might give you a sort of, ‘get out of jail free,’ card – ‘next time, yeah, I’ll step outside into a few minutes of something special, but I just can’t face it now.’ It’ll be a hell of a price though – I mean, if you get there and the shimmering light in the doorway that looks like Laurence Olivier says, ‘Sorry pal, I’m afraid that’s your lot,’ then points to the left, instead of to the glowing happy people with their free gift bags of swag, turning to the right. It’ll be just like going through customs at the airport – when you know left means you’ll have to unpack your over stuffed suitcase and explain the contents of your life to a stranger. No one wants to go left – and I certainly don’t like the idea of being told to walk into a permanent left.
I think death will feel like your body is inside one of those plastic containers in the drive through bank lane, the ones where you push the button and it zips up the chute at the speed of light onto who knows where. I think the moment of death is going to go something like that, and if I don’t give it half a chance down here and choose to be open, honest, and to work with what I have by listening, trusting and taking action, there is a possibility I’ll be pushed right back down that chute again like some sort of cosmic reject forcing me into facing risk again. On the other hand, assuming that the light is going to come and tell me this is the only shot I have, I should really consider facing my potential head on now.
Now, I don’t like failure any more than the next guy; I don’t relish scraping around knee deep in the shit I thought would turn to gold, and I’ve certainly clawed my way through that more than once. There did come a point where I made the choice not to risk again though. I gave up. After I some how managed to stand up and pretend everyone else had forgotten about it all, I gave up on what I could be, and tried to convince myself that I had done all I could to fulfill my potential.
There’s a snag with doing this though, that one thing that convinced me that there was possibility in my question, that it could be woven into gold, that rustled up risk inside of me in the first place, never give up on me; it kept on whispering, and once I’d acknowledged that I could hear it – it only got louder. I could hear it hissing out of the shadows of past up chances that I hadn’t faced. It was those retreats that turned into a haunting, pushing my head back down to admit that a mere heart beat of panic, barely allowing my palms to begin sweating, hadn’t been enough. Its demand to be over ruled was not seductive or enticing – it just became necessary, as essential as breath.
I still hear the voices of doubt from those outside of the arena chit chatter chattering behind my back; they follow me inside my head. But today I choose to bear the potential for failure and self-humiliation, to let love reject or sweep me up, to believe that eventually what floats will forage, and to get to it all again, to take a risk and keep walking into them. Because what is a life of not trying, of not attempting, of not allowing for the possibility for failure? All that leaves me with is the trinity of who I could be lying in a skeletal pile of melted might have beens.
Looking through the debris to see what didn’t fit is the only path to knowing what will, and the only way that will open up to me is by making the choice to risk; not thinking about it, not considering it, not weighing it, but opening the gate, putting one foot down in potential quick sand, and actually stepping into the arena knowing I will root.
Picture credit: Boldini