Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

In this fast food communication time period, people use shorthand/text speak to communicate what is on their minds. Yesterday, I was reminded by a new friend with whom I was on a Naturist (meaning clothing optional in this case) hike to celebrate the Summer Solstice, that we do indeed only live once.  He was referring to his decision to live and love full out and appreciate the opportunity to connect with kindred spirits. The concept of YOLO (You Only Live Once) came to me courtesy of a heart attack that had me on my back, but not for long. In the midst of recovering physically, I had forgotten that there was a strong emotional component to the condition. It had me taking emotional risks and stretches that I had only dreamed about before. There was a time when I lived cautiously, often, as my husband would tell me, “looking over your shoulder to see if the propriety police were watching.” Sometimes they were and at others they were not even in the neighborhood. It didn’t stop me from keeping my own radar alert. What would someone think if I expressed my desires that were not in keeping with what I ‘should’ want and sometimes disdain for what was happening around me that other people were engaged in? Would they judge me as being too sensitive or just ‘too much,’ whatever that meant? As an out of the box thinker, likely since birth, I would often share observations that would have kid friends shake their heads and say, “Huh?  What are you talking about?” They were more interested in the mundane than the metaphysical, while I had my own head in the clouds, pondering the nature of the universe.

It seems to me that a life well lived is one in which we risk putting our hearts on the line. One in which we stretch our comfort zones. One in which we are willing to laugh and cry in equal measure. There was a time when I would hold back tears in the service of keeping on keeping on. I would hold steady so I could be the rock on which others could lean. I would move away from ‘messy’ situations and people who stirred them up. That one was the most challenging, since my work as a therapist brought me in direct contact with folks whose daily circumstances could be wildly chaotic. Lately, I have engaged my emotional bungee jumping muscles and leaped off of symbolic bridges, really putting myself out there in the world. Scary?  You bet!  Rewarding?  That too. With my heart racing, I have shared thoughts and feelings that I would have kept locked away in a steel enclosed box for fear that they would be misunderstood or judged, all the while pretending that I had it all together. These days, I am less concerned with maintaining the facade and more concerned with being real.

Who knows what today will bring that will allow me to live this one lifetime to the fullest?

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