The riot of new life pushes up from below ground, reaching hungrily for the light. Spring is here. Brave and vulnerable, tender green shoots emerge out of the darkness and risk living. All life is vulnerable. All life can be hurt, will die. Yet life longs for itself and this force animates all of us.
We humans have the ability to know we are vulnerable, can realize we have limits to control over outcomes that matter to us. And our nervous systems are wired to activate when we are faced with that most basic truth. Our body telephones us with an uncomfortable message, a question really. It asks us “Are we safe?” And unless we are faced with immediate threat to our physical safety, we owe our body the reassurance of an answer. We owe our loyal body a moment of attention as we feel the sensations of tension and agitation, being present with the discomfort long enough and lovingly enough so the body recognizes our awareness and settles.
That is how we live an approach based life. We focus on our desire for our biggest life, and we allow ourselves to feel the discomfort of the longing and the reaching and the not yet having. And we stay connected to the force within us that wants us to become all we are most deeply meant to be. This is what freedom and power and love look like.
The other way of living is avoidant. We live an avoidance based life when we ignore discomfort, when we neglect the body’s question, or when we catastrophize it, making the sensations themselves into the problem… as though our body’s question is a sign of weakness or impending loss of control or a source of potential humiliation… And then we move away from ourselves and whatever else we perceive to be the trigger for the uncomfortable feelings of muscle tension and butterflies and racing heart. And we stay stuck and small.
Sometimes we are more able than others to take the brave step of approaching life. It is not an easy thing to do, since we are neurologically wired to avoid discomfort, and to move away from experiences of anxiety and pain. It is our job to become conscious that we have a choice. We will not always notice our body’s call, but when we do we have an opportunity to grow into more of ourselves.
This is not a race nor a competition nor something any of us will do perfectly. It is a journey for our whole lives – waking up, noticing, responding with love to ourselves and approaching life.
Today I invite you to consciously be aware of yourself in this moment. Will you let the new shoots of yourself emerge? Will you allow yourself to be in touch with the vulnerable experience of reaching for all your heart longs for?
It is not easy. Yet you are so very worth it.
Photo Credit: Sparker