Failure, Risk & Love

There is only one good reason to commit to failing again and again, falling flat and getting up until you get it right.

Unless you love something, really love it, love it so much that you want it to be an integrated part of who you are, then how can you take the pain and nuisance of letting it slap you down over and over again?

It is only the pursuit of love that engenders the pursuit of risk.   Unless there is a chance of a deeper connection with someone, something or some passion that we love, why put yourself out there and take a risk?  Why not just play it safe and small, reserved and sad because you don’t have the love in your life that calls you to a passionate exercise of living?

Don’t we want someone to love?  Don’t we want to feel love everyday?  Don’t we  want to be in love?

It is love that fuels our leaps, our coming out of the plainness of who we are now, the comfortable old persona, and attempting to become more, to become better, to become new.   The love of a person, the love of mastery, the love of exploration, the love of rebirth, whatever we love, it fuels us.

Risk always includes failure.   Nothing comes without a few scrapes and bruises, without falling down a few pegs, without a few heartbreaks.   Learning takes time and loss, shards of pain that point out where more work, more focus, more sweat, more attention, more smarts and more love is needed.

When we are young, love is easy to come by.   We are always being swept away by love, or at least by the dream of love.   We imagine the power of who we could be if we just had the right love, the beautiful mirroring of our love, someone who takes our love and reflects it back, turning love into something that feels strong and solid.

This means that when we are young, the mourning for love is also easy to come by.   We imagine the feeling of being in love, the focus and the affirmation that keeps us fresh, invigorated and ready to leap.

As we get older, we learn to consider our choices more, to be more selective in what we love.   We understand that love spread too thin isn’t really much love at all, understand that if we want to avoid the mourning & heartbreak we also have to avoid the drama that comes with easy, torrid and essentially cheap love.

The awareness that love takes work & commitment, that love & discipline are unreservedly intertwined comes as our love ripens, creating deeper challenges which take time & dedication to work through.   Our love matures as we mature, becoming less a momentary rush and much more a persistent investment, draped in compassion, nuance & understanding.

A folly of youth is to believe that a spark of love is enough; a folly of age is to believe that a spark of love is not crucial.

Negotiating the role of love in our life is always challenging.   Just because we are a mother and give our love to our children doesn’t mean we don’t need a bit of the fire of love back.   As the kids grow and move away, we have to open to new loves, new paths of love that keep us fresh, that keep us passionate, that keep us growing, that keep us ready to risk failure and leap towards something amazing.

To love again is to risk again and to risk again is to love again.

Just maybe, the biggest risk we make with love is if whatever we love will love us back.    Our gifts and talents have limits, so understanding our own nature leads us to know where we can invest ourself to find the kind of rewards we need and want.


To leap again is to love again.

I rose from a vivid and exquisitely tender dream about coming together again with the apricot haired love of my life, finally being able to not skitter away but connect.

Learning that love is not for me was hard, a retraction deep into my nautilus brain, pulling my dreams in to a place where they didn’t bother me too much as I did the hard work.

People like me, and that means so many things, have a tortured relationship with love, with desire, with deep and intimate connection.

Just looked at the web stats and someone found a post titled “My Father’s Eulogy.”  It’s about inheritance, about love.   His death was also the last time I heard from her, just a brief note in an on-line guestbook attached to his obituary.

To love again is to leap again.

People around me treat me as fired ceramic, dutiful, utilitarian, hard, fixed.    They know what they want from me, know my limits, know my place.

Somewhere, though, there must still be a bit of raw clay whose destiny is not fixed, that is plastic, malleable and holds new possibilities. 

Does that lump need to be protected, saved, hoarded, or might I risk trying to shape it, even knowing that my hands are old, my skills clumsy and it may well deform or shatter in the kiln?

The only reason to commit to becoming new, to risk failure and create rebirth is love.   If we aren’t heading towards something we can love —  agápe, éros, philía, or storgē — then what is the point?

The cliff is right ahead of me.

My experience weighs me down with caution.

Unless you love something, really love it, love it so much that you want it to be an integrated part of who you are, then how can you take the pain and nuisance of letting it slap you down over and over again?

Leaping is loving.   Loving is leaping.

My vision of the light & love available to me, though, well, is there a name for leaping into the fog?

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