There will be plenty of rainy days when I’ll be stuck inside.
It could be a metaphor for living. Our brief starburst of life on this planet is like a break in the clouds. We should make the most if it. Being brave does not come naturally to me nor to most of us. Putting ourselves out there to fail. Being vulnerable. We unlearn it as we become more self-aware. But it’s a promise I made to myself at the start of this year – and a daily challenge to keep it. In Australia, being in the sun puts you at risk of being burned. But you go out anyway. You take precautions and go because it’s a risk worth taking. Being vulnerable has immense rewards. The alternative is staying in – and that’s no fun. In this life, don’t stay in.
Going out is risky – but worth it
I got a shot of nostalgia when the first knock on our front door the day after moving to Ireland was a neighbour’s child asking could our girls come out to play. Remember that? We should all get out to play more. Take chances. Make connections. Risk something. Fall and hurt ourselves. Learn. Lose track of time. Live in the moment. Grow. Make lifelong friends. Have fleeting moments. Break rules. Have fun. Experience joy, pain, fear and love. But look forward to going out every day regardless. Go back to childhood.
When you’re out, seek the sunny side. I was waiting to meet a friend for coffee one of my first days back. The sun was shining across the road from the cafe. I walked across and sat in the sun to wait. Some tourists stopped to take pictures of the building behind me. Oscar Wilde’s birthplace. It’s amazing what you might miss if you don’t seek the sun over the shade.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde
We always have a choice
I sometimes picture myself as a Life Navigator – but an amateur one. I have a MAP but no path I take is completely sunny. Each has sunny and dark sides. We get pushed from one to the other. But when we have a choice, we should choose the sun. On the sunny side, we will find vulnerability, risk, fun, tolerance, optimism, hope, connection, love, contribution and being. It’s only across the road or outside that door.
Every single day you wake, you get to choose. Decide you’re sad and your God will give you plenty of reasons to justify it. Or decide to be happy and your God will give you the same number of reasons to justify that.
Ironically – given I moved from Australia to Ireland – I choose the sun.
So when you can see the light through the clouds – the fingers of God – seek the sunny side. I’ll see you there.