Every choice I make is an investment in one thing…and (sadly) not another. Caregiving is a beautiful example of this. It is a commitment, taking time and resources away from something else that I could be doing. I willingly chose to do it, (and would again) but I am aware of time now as a bank account. Caregiving and death have changed my perception of time. As a hospice chaplain, I know (and have seen) the sources of unlimited love, light and mercy at bedside, but have no notions that my time here will be unlimited. Like everyone else, I came into this world and I will go out.
Am I scared to move on because my best might be over? My best people gone? My best day lived? Of course, it's my same old ‘not enough’—habit energy. My focus on fear will plant more seeds of fear (and grow those weeds). These are worry questions and already have implied negative answers.
The truth is I don’t know—and ‘don’t know’ is neutral. Neutral is centered—and full of possibilities. What stops me from being curious about them? Quantum scientists only understand about four percent of the universe. The rest is ‘dark’—dark matter, dark energy, as yet unknown and unseen. That is a lot of space for some new options. “Never put a period, where God has put a comma.”—Gracie Allen, American Comic, 1895-1964
Life can be risky (and punctuation matters). It’s about having solid ground (Got Blessing?) to trust that I still have enough when things change. It’s about faith that the universe is a friendly place and wants me here. From this secure ground—a place of enoughness, my focus can be on dancing with the questions.
Loss is a bitch until you realize, the cranky old broad is a great friend. La Befana and her broom cleans house with forgiveness and renewal. Let go of what is not working. Bet on Einstein’s friendly universe.
“Faith is a free surrender and a joyous wager on the unseen, unknown, untested goodness of God.”—Martin Luther
Willingness to risk allows us to venture out and grow things—like a good life. Unlike denial, a healthy and secure base scales. As a society, if we develop a confident inner safety net as a public good, then it reflects for us all in a smart, risk-enabled populace with the willingness and ability to create in a free global economy. The increase is in our collective GNP and everyone’s bottom line.
If you are still breathing gamble on that which will propel you forward. What if Steve Jobs, as an abandoned child, did not feel worthy to risk and create Apple? Or early on in his career quit college and pursue calligraphy for no better reason than because he liked it? The ripples of monetary loss would be in the billions of dollars in lost revenue. It’s a risk. Human development research and attachment theory says that: All of life is a series of daring adventures from a secure base. This framework, multiplied in time, governs an innovating or stagnating economy in diversifying skills, free global connections and the basic risk tolerance and audacity to thrive in an uncertain world.
Right now, some new opportunity is growing in the dark—in the good dirt of our lives. Perhaps, it has been waiting for us to notice and nurture it for a long time.
An inherent belief in the goodness of the unseen is a bet worth placing.