18 March 2009

The Elephant Man Experiment

If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it...*

Over and over and over again. Find the courage.

The fear of speaking too soon or saying too much or offending someone or losing a job or making a mistake or dying alone... There's a hundred possible fears to derail you.

Over and over and over again. Find the courage to live the life you love.

Fear of going to hell. Fear of freedom. Fear of The Unknown. Fear of getting hurt.

Find the courage to live the life you love.

Sometimes I wonder if surviving a tragedy might inspire me to live more courageously. If I were extremely physically disfigured through accident or illness, for example. If I looked like the Elephant Man, would I still fear looking foolish or being rejected or not fitting in?

If I lost my sight or ability to walk, would I still fear getting sick? wasting time? being misunderstood?

If my worst fears were realized, there would be nothing between me and living the life I love. Maybe I would finally find the courage to
live the life I dream.

"Words get in the way," too. I mean, sometimes, making the decision and even following through is not the difficult or terrifying part; it's the explanation and justification and qualification and all the rest of the talking, to friends or family or coworkers or bosses or strangers... Shaving my head, for instance, was never difficult but all the different kinds of conversation that resulted from the choice! I don't want to explain my life; I just want to live it.


It's almost 5 a.m.

The world is dark and quiet. I should try to get some sleep.

I challenge myself: when I wake up, relinquish the fear of being misunderstood or judged or.... Try living without explanation.

*John Irving, again.

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