Opportunities string before us in a fashion we often don’t recognize, seized by our own fears. Self-doubt can keep our feet planted where they’ve been too long already. Dust settles on the tables that used to adorn freshly cut flowers and the latest hottest novels. We judge unknowingly – calling it “being careful,” or “following the rules.” If an opportunity doesn’t match up to our expectations, perhaps it is our expectations that need adjusting. Far too often we let memorable moments pass us by, saying it isn’t what we’re looking for. Who’s to say where and in who those answers are for us unless we are willing to walk up to opportunity and welcome whatever surprise it hands us.
Shut the door on opportunity and it will only go elsewhere - to someone willing to leave the door open. Start closing windows around you and you’ll quite simply find yourself sitting alone amongst the dust-covered tables with all the windows closed.
When opportunity strikes, simply embrace it and take what it offers. What may feel like a mistake oftentimes becomes the gift of learning, at the very least – a good story. We can never have too many good stories. The best stories are those told from seized opportunities that felt like failure at the moment, but later surprised us as something was revealed about ourselves – causing us to be humbled, or perhaps allowing us to laugh at our own stumbling.
Opportunities will come and go our whole lives, but they seldom return for a second showing. Don’t take the chance of someone else loving the one your heart pounds for, or someone else getting that job, or your business idea becoming someone else’s achievement. Going for it is life-changing in so many ways, and whether you stumble, or fall, or soar – you will never be the same again. Life takes on a flavor that sparkles when we step into the unknown to stay awhile.
I have a dear friend who is clumsy beyond words. Coffee stains used to trail from his work desk to mine in a somewhat endearing fashion. I recently learned that this 51 year old, forever - single man had taken the chance on a woman that he wasn’t too sure he’d be proud to bring home. He took an opportunity that was presented to him with great uncertainty, kept the door open to possibility, and it became the one most life-changing experience of his life . Turmoil ensued as he tried to figure out the perfect way to ask her to be his wife. The perfect way presented itself to him as he entered the room she was in, and quite simply asked her to marry him. Upon saying yes, he stepped forward – shoelace catching beneath the door – and fell quite literally flat on his face. I’m not sure, but I suspect he most likely had coffee in his hand at this monumental moment. It could not have been more perfect. I have no doubt it is why she loves him. Opportunity was seized.
Life doesn’t always make sense at the moment, but the moment is all we have right now. The moment is where life is happening. The quiet nudging of our inner spirits to try, to take the time, to get up and stop wondering what if … opportunities sail when they aren’t anchored. With the passing of time and the changing of hearts, they can be gone forever. The ship of opportunity does sail on.
A great life is created by the efforts we give. Abundant living is filled with grief and sorrow today; promise, hope, and great joy tomorrow. Going for it and things not turning out as hoped is just a part of the growing and the flowing, but it all leads to an exhilarating life. We are meant to be creative in this life – whether it be cooking or planting, painting or singing – and to have a beautiful and creative soul it needs to be nurtured with good kind people and freshly ground coffee, (or good stories and the opening of hearts to listen to each other’s sorrows and sailings, challenges and pursuits, triumphs and successes.) We are meant to create. Create a beautiful home even if all it means is a single flower placed in a container on a table. If that’s all you have, that’s enough. The mixing of spices for varied tastes beautifies our sense and appreciation for good food. Creating babies, ideas, romances is what creates a beautiful spirit. In turn we are hopefully eager to create beautiful communities with generous souls.
Someone once said, It is not humble to play small. It is a loss to ourselves and others. There will be, is, a space where each of us is to be. It is an empty side of the bed that is yours to fill. It is an invention that is swirling in your thoughts; an invention that will allow suffering communities to heal and thrive. It is a work of art that you have yet to complete that will change how someone sees the world, the meaning of their live, their own contribution. That idea, that hope, that love stirring in your heart, and the return of love and sense of purpose you hope for...it is not random or meaningless. It is yours for a reason. Answer the question, 'what if' not in the rear view mirror, but facing forward with curiosity each day. What if...live in the beautiful, creative mess of the answer.