I think of the times in my life when I have simply said Yes. No lists of pros and cons. No SWOT or Force Field analysis. No seeking of advice from another person. No flipping of coins or swaying of the amulet. Just pure trust in pure dumb luck.
I am thinking of those times when I didn’t doubt. When I sidestepped land mines of fear. When I took the labyrinth of detours with neither complaint nor concern. When I let go of my attachment to an anticipated outcome. Moments when I looked fate in the eye and said, “Pleased to meet you. Tell me more. Show me more. This is awesome!”
These moments are enormous beyond wonder. They are the moments when life is richly rewarded with the most unexpected of gifts. Amazing and beautiful gifts. In retrospect, these moments surprise me because they are the times when I surprised myself . . . when I allowed me to be true to my own self with no interference.
Being willing to take a chance that is True to Self is one of life’s richest rewards. It is like reading a thick novel with a heroine you can admire. She is someone who is willing to take chances and to live a life of no regret . . . someone who is willing to trust herself. Although she has flaws, you cheer her on precisely because of her flaws. She doesn’t let her less-than-stellar experiences and choices hold her back from fulfillment. Who doesn’t want her to find her bliss in the final chapter? I certainly do.
It feels so great — magical really — to take those humbling chances and live a life of no regret. Many times we question our common sense, our motives, our resources. We wonder if we are ever going to be truly happy or feel whole. And then it happens.
We receive the reward of taking a chance. Life is magnified when this happens. We still see our own flaws but they are diminished by the courage it took to take the chance that would propel us out of darkness into light.
History is being written in the finest of ways. There are happy endings. They do exist. Life may not appear to be perfect on the outside. But a life of no regret as a result of taking chances? It is perfection.
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is one of those epic poems that has spoken different things to me at different times in my life:
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth . . .”
These days, I read these words, and I no longer see me standing at the trailhead as a solitary traveler. And I am not standing in one place to ponder in long-I stood mode — as I once might have. I am discovering the beauty of the African proverb: “If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together.”
I want to “travel far” . . . be the path well-traveled or wildly untrammeled. Be there a light backpack or a fabulous amount of luggage. It’s all good . . . to be traveling far and taking chances with no regrets. To saying Yes.