A friend of mine shared this quote post from Toby Mac with me today.
It’s a good one, as Toby tends to circle around important ideas and make you stop and consider what you are doing in the big picture of life by his pithy saying at any given moment.
I remember hearing (when I was younger) the saying “The young man becomes an old man when dreams become regrets.” It follows along the same line of thought.
Regret can crush your heart if you live long enough and realize what you didn’t try or didn’t do.
The sting of regret comes not from not merely trying to do something and feeling remorse about that inaction. Regret is often a wound which is issued by want itself.
To risk for something is to want something that forces you to make decisions and make an effort to secure it. Risking costs, but people risk because what they see as potential results are evaluated as more than worth the price of trying. Risk is what allows a person to change colleges halfway through undergrad studies, or to find a mate and found a family, or switch in midlife from one career to another, or to stop one habit for another. All change demands risk.
Which is why regret is really the result of paralysis- of someone’s inability to change, to make a decision to alter how they live their life. Because to alter the way you live your life means you want something different about how you live your life now, or you want something different in your life, or you want something out of your life.
Regret is the wound of foregoing want for safety, which is why the death of dreams haunt a soul. Life offers us possibilities and opportunities. Fear takes those from us, and shackles away our longings and our courage behind a front of diligence, duty, and dependability, which, for some, is a thin veneer over paralysis. Want paralysis. Dream dismantling. Spirit silencing.
Riskless living is by all appearances safe, but ultimately, the life lived without risks is a life lived without living.
Courage is listening to your heart and sifting it for the things that it longs for, and at least, where the greatest longings glow, following them with devotion and trust.
It’s not the trying and failing the bruises the soul in late life. It’s the wanting but being ruled by fear that will eat you up in the end.
Or all of the “not wanting” you thought you managed well until the closet of shut away things busts open later in your life, and you realized all of those things you said you never really needed flood your life with deep ache.
You want. I’d suggest you figure out what you really want in your life while you can, and pour yourself into chasing for the key three or so “before it’s too late”.
Because one day you’ll admit to the things you wanted in life that you never risked anything to know, to do, or to get.
What do you really really want? Yeah- you.
And what are you willing to do about it?