“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.” – Steven Pressfield
For most of us, there seems to be this huge gap between the life we live and the life we really want.
We say we want a better job, but day after day, all we do is complain and keep punching the clock at the one that makes us miserable.
We say we want to find love, but aren’t willing to go to events or even go online and put ourselves out there to meet single men.
We say we want to spend more time with family, but waste huge chunks of our “free” time on Twitter talking to strangers.
We say we want to start a business and put our talents to use as an entrepreneur, yet never seem to get that great idea off the ground.
We say we want to travel, yet we let ourselves get easily discouraged at the thought of being able to save enough money to leave the country.
One thing I say I really want is a romantic relationship. In the past, I even said I wanted to get married. Yet, my reality was that I cheated on almost every boyfriend I ever had until I met the rocket scientist. That was 12 years of my life I spent lying to myself about what I wanted and what I was emotionally ready for. My mouth said one thing, but my actions showed quite another.
Now, it feels like I’m starting over. I’m learning how to be honest with myself and others. What I know is that it’s hard to be open. For all of us. It’s tough to tell the truth and let it hang out on the line like a pillowcase in summer.
The problem is, whenever I cling to my fear of falling in love, of giving away precious parts of myself to another person, my heart tightens like a closed fist, unable to let anything (or anyone) inside. Of course, this makes it even more difficult to go after what I really want.
On the flip side, whenever I stay open to possibility in my love life, magic happens. I meet the most amazing men who teach me something about myself. Like the writer I met in Charlottesville, who taught me more about what I really need from a partner as well as what I am able to give.
It’s just as important to know what you don’t want as it is to know what you do want.
I don’t want to be closed up and overly cautious. I do want to stay open to the magical world of possibility. I don’t want to miss out on what the universe has in store for me. I do want to play the game until the last inning, knowing that I could strike out at any moment.
For me, this is the only way to avoid the tragedy of an unlived life. Go after what you really want. Do exactly what your heart tells you, even though your mind is steady telling you to be careful, not to give too much away.
Because when you’re willing to take that first vulnerable step out into the unknown, opportunities somehow start showing up to greet you at the door.