Monday, September 9, 2013

Much to Lose

Girl: Do you think I'll stop worrying when I know he loves me for sure?
Friend: Just listen to yourself.
Girl: There's so much to lose.
Friend: There always is.

It's a segment from Paula McLain's The Paris Wife...and I think it speaks volumes to where many women are at in life.

We're always thinking that the next step in the relationship will give us the feeling of security and comfort that we're longing for. If we're just talking to a guy we're interested in, we think we might stop worrying if he would just ask us out or let us know what he's really thinking about us. If we're dating a guy, we might stop worrying if we just knew that he not only loved us, but was ready to spend the rest of his life with us. If we're married, we might stop worrying if we knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he would have eyes for no one but us. Or maybe we'd stop worrying if we knew that every time he left the house he would be guaranteed to come back from any disaster that could take him away from us earlier than expected.

The point?
The point is that we're always finding a reason to worry. We're always feeling like there's so much to lose. Once we get to one rung on the ladder, we realize there are more to climb... and honestly? The higher we get, the more risky it becomes.

Is it ever safe?

Not really. Not in the way we'd like for it to be.
There's always so much to lose. There's always so much at stake. Our hearts are on the line. No matter how much we long for certainty, security, for absolutes... we'll never really get it.

So what's our response?
Honestly, sometimes I want to flee. To flee from any possibility of intimacy or connection because I recognize that the fall will only hurt worse the higher I get up on the ladder. The closer I get, the more I reveal of my heart, the more I let someone in... the more it hurts when he doesn't like me back, when he isn't ready to commit, when he screws up, when he disappears...

But what kind of life is that?
What about the thrill, the anticipation, the hope, the joy, the memories, the experiences, the shared life of learning and growing...?
Where's the adventure?
Where's the taking a chance?

Whenever I'd hook kids into the zipline, or send them down the rappel...I'd typically ask them if they were scared. 'A little...', they might reply. 'Good. That means it'll be more fun.'

Because it was true. The risk makes it more fun, more worthwhile, more memorable. The unknown of what it will actually be makes it intoxicating.

Maybe relationships are a bit like that, too.
And as much as I'd sometimes rather stay on the ground because it's easier, safer, more comfortable? I want to ride the zipline... I want to climb the ladder. I want to risk. I want to have adventure. I want to see what comes, even when I'm sometimes worried about what there is to lose.

In the end, I think I lose more when I'm unwilling to venture out and see what happens.
There's always much to lose.

You get to decide what's worth it and what's not.
Climb the ladder.
Fall hard if you're going to fall.
I'm pretty sure it's worth it...especially when you are assured that life isn't solely about this. Because it isn't.

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