Accepting uncertainty

…because really, what other option is there???

Nothing is guaranteed. I can’t even be certain I’ll live to see the sunset this evening. Just because I can’t see something tragic on the horizon doesn’t mean tragedy isn’t coming my way. In the same vein, it doesn’t mean that tragedy is staring me down either. All I can do is make choices with the information that I have at hand. I can do my best to be a caring, considerate person and try not to hurt others.

If I start to worry about everything that might happen, I won’t do anything. Every action I take will affect others like ripples on a pond. If I sit around and take no action at all, eventually I will die and my death will cause ripples too. Connecting with others can be painful because not all connections are successful. Each time I put myself out there for another person, I am handing a piece of myself over to them. Even if they take good care of it, I still have no guarantee that  I won’t be hurt in the meantime because no one is perfect. I’ve probably been hurt far more times than I’ve been successful, but the successes justify continuing on.

It’s easy once you’ve been hurt to pull away from people and fear getting too close. The pain feels too immediate. I don’t know of anyone who gets injured and immediately wants to put themselves back into a similar situation risking the same injury. Often in life, I do that because I have to do it. If I cut myself while chopping potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner (yup…done this more than once), I still have to pick the knife back up and keep going once I’ve taken care of the wound. I don’t really want to, but I do it anyways. In relationships, it isn’t quite that easy. No one forces me to step back into them. I usually can’t pick up where I left off with the same knife (now wiser about what not to do). I often have to start all over with a different person, taking big risks all over again. With a new person, I don’t know how sharp the knife is, which ways of holding it are dangerous, or anything else about it. The risks of getting cut seem imminently huge. I may know that it’s more than worth it to try again, even knowing the risks…but can I force myself to take the risk when the pain from the last cut still hurts?

I might need time, but I also need to remember that I won’t gain anything without risking the pain and loss. In the end, what I gain is worth it. I spent a long time getting over the last cut. It was deep and it scarred, but I learned that I’m strong enough to heal even from things like that. It may hurt, and it may be a risk, but I wouldn’t ever want to stop making the effort. There are people in the world who are more than worth it…even if they don’t know it.

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~ by Kj on August 7, 2010.

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