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Take A Risk!

November 15, 2010

In keeping with the current theme of autumn changes, I would like to speak a little (a little?) about taking risks. Well obviously, I have been making some small risks in my life, of letting go past habits and uncouth people. So far, it’s working well for me and I don’t regret it. :-)

But for many,  it’s not easy to take risks in life. We are comfortable with the way things are, how we live and see life, and change is never easy. Not to say that everyone should change all the time! The rule of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”, does apply. If the way you do things are correct for you, and it doesn’t harm you or others, then keep with it by all means. However, not everyone is happy with their life situations or circumstances. I’m one of the people who want and work towards changing the bad issues of my life. I’m not striving to be a “perfect” woman, with no issues or bad situations ever in my life. That’s not reality, for anyone, as the concept of “perfect” doesn’t exist. But I DO strive to have peace and to find resolve for many of the major issues/flaws in my life. My goal is to be content within my life and about myself. But there are times, when I have to take risks in order to move forward and achieve that goal.

I know that I speak of my best friend often, but he was the key to me realizing that taking risks are well worth it sometimes. Before I had met him, I was complacent and nowhere near walking toward contentment. In my previous relationships (romantic, friendship, and between relatives), I fell into this role of always listening to others and caring about their issues.  And the rule was that I were to never voice my opinion to them or any advice, unless it was always favorable. At a very young age, I had learned the “art” of only thinking, feeling, and speaking the words that a person wants to hear, instead of speaking the truth as I saw it. My own issues, fears and worries, and opinions were prohibited and were not encouraged. No one cared how I felt, or what I saw was the honest truth, or what I was facing in my own life. And for many years, I stayed complacent and silent in that role. :-/

Then I met my best friend and he would not allow me to cover up my worries or hide my issues from him. And he also encouraged me to stand up to others, to be HONEST and speak my mind, not to worry about others getting angry or threatening to not be my friend anymore. And for himself, he demanded that I was ALWAYS upfront and honest to him. If I believed that he was wrong in a situation, I am able to tell him so, without him deciding that I’m a bad friend and never speaking to me ever again. If I didn’t agree with something he believed in, it’s okay for me not to, and I don’t have to pretend or change the subject. AND, if he had created something with his very talented and unique creativity, but I don’t quite get the art of it or love it, he wanted the truth about that also!

Of course, this door swings both ways. I am allowed to be honest with him and in turn he is allowed to be honest with me. Though, in my past, people were always allowed to be honest with me… and they were brutality and unapologetically so! But this is my first friend EVER that I am able to be brutality honest with, without the worry of it ending the friendship. It’s a very big deal to me, because I hate lying to people, or avoiding the truth in order to keep people happy with me.

This idea of honesty and freedom to express myself with others is very new concept to me and it’s liberating. It has set a new standard on what type of people I rather be around and make friends with. And the old role of me staying quiet and complacent, while others “tell it like it is” (yet I was never allowed to do the reverse), no longer fits me. In other words, if I can’t be brutality honest with you, then you can’t be brutally honest with me. If I have to lie and only tell you what you want to hear, then the same goes for you, buddy! Also, if you’re going to be blunt with me, expect the same measured response. Don’t like it? Well… Tough! :-p

And with this change, there was a risk. I knew for a fact that many people, including family members, weren’t going to like this new change in me. I knew it was risky to come out of my shell for once and speak up for myself. But, I wanted to! Not only that, what I was doing before wasn’t working for me, and it hasn’t been working for me throughout my life. There comes a time when a person must really think about their own habits and roles,  to figure out if their behaviors are beneficial or not. I was keeping my honest feelings and thoughts inside of myself, stuffing everything inside. This led to depression, self-hatred, and suicidal tendencies for most of my life. And it was all in the pursuit of keeping “friends” and family happy with me, as I became a martyr and sacrificed my real self and honesty over and over again.

I know that I would have gotten out of that cycle on my own, as I was very unhappy and it just wasn’t me. But the encouragement from my best friend helped the madness end sooner. I stood at the ledge of that risk and I jumped! Yes, many were unhappy of the change, some were highly uncomfortable, some quietly left me alone and haven’t returned. But, the odd thing is, I DON’T CARE! I am happy to have taken the leap and my life is a lot more healthy, because of it. I am happier and I have reconnected with my true self again. ;-)

That’s not to say that all risks end up as good as mine have. Sometimes, when one takes a risk, it can go wrong! I think it’s that fear that stops many people, as it was my fear also, and the reason why it took me so long to stand up for myself. But the real sure way to know if a risk is worth it or not, is to answer this question first: “Are things working out, the way that it stands now?” If you are experiencing more grief, pain, and drama in your current way of “handling things”, then taking a risk to do something DIFFERENT is a good idea. You have nothing to lose at that point, if you really think about it. If you’re unhappy now, what do you really lose in the risk?

If I had lost all of my friends (even my best friend) and relatives, with taking the risk of  being honest and standing up myself, did I really lose anything? These were not supportive or fair friends to began with, I had gained no support or encouragement from them, and they were often draining to me and my life. And if my best friend had left me, it would have not made him a good friend either,  as he would have been a self-serving hypocrite. And if family members can’t love and support me, for my true self, then they’re not really all that close to me to began with. Because I support and accept mostly everyone for themselves. It’s only right and fair to ask for the same in return. I’m a valid human being too! ;-)

We always worry about the unknown, the possibility that something bad may become worse with a new way of handling something. There is that risk of something becoming worse, but also our non-action and staying complacent in a bad role or situation can also lead to things becoming worse. If I had stayed in my complacent role and not have dared to take a risk, my depression would have gotten worse, I would have succeeded in my suicidal attempts, and I would not have moved a little forward toward contentment in my life.

I believe that Albert Einstein said it best, “Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Sometimes it’s best (and sane!) to take the leap, for better or for worse, and not keep doing the same things over and over. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you would know that you did all you could to fix a situation or issue. Those who never risk, never find out what could have been. ;-)

-D

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