Live a Larger Life
Be reckless when it comes to affairs of the heart.
…Fall madly in love with life!
Be passionate about some part of the natural and/or human worlds,
and take risks on its behalf, no matter how vulnerable they make you.
~ Parker Palmer
To me, being reckless means taking unnecessary risks. I spend a lot of time thinking things through and planning for contingencies to make sure I’m not reckless. But Parker Palmer says that I need to embrace the risks in life if I want to truly live my life. If I can’t let myself be open and vulnerable, I am not giving generously of my gifts and living a life of service.
I don’t know if it’s possible to take “unnecessary” risks when it comes to those we love. I think of my husband, children and grandchildren; I would do anything to help them or to take away pain, if I could, even if it meant my life for theirs. Falling madly in love with life means that I feel that way about all of life, not just my tiny circle of family and friends. I believe that everything is connected and that all life is sacred, yet I don’t live out that belief as often as I should. Parker Palmer calls us to live life larger than we are comfortable doing.
When I selfishly withhold something—whether that’s a thing, an idea or a listening ear—I have put up a barrier between myself and the other person. I hold back for fear of being hurt in some way or because I have a scarcity mindset. When I’m passionate about living out my mission of using my gifts to make the world better, I can’t help but take risks that make me scared and may even fail. I want to live my life for something bigger than myself. The risks I take to do that mean that I will sometimes get hurt. But those wounds make me stronger and more empathetic, and so more willing to continue living and loving.