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  • Writer's picturebonnykgoetz

Choosing Courage In the Face of the Unknown

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

We have all dropped anchor in places that suited us for a time. Until, inevitably, the day came when we sensed something new steering, and we recognized it was time to move past our comfort zones and walk bravely into the unknown. Trusting that instinct to move when we are compelled, to try something that might scare us in exchange for the thrill that may await on the other side, to invite courage over comfort – these are the very moments I hope to celebrate.

But I couldn’t have imagined how risk, and the many ways it can manifest, would change and evolve as it has in recent months. For many of us, reality has shifted. In light of what we’ve learned and experienced together, there’s a chance we understand risk differently than we did before. We’ve learned that sometimes, instead of an unanchoring or a stirring to embrace the world in new ways, risk can look like unearthing the courage to stay in place. It can mean daringto hold steady and keep space for people and things you care deeply for, even if from a distance.

If we look back at our own lives, we can see that risk has been there all along. When we started a new job or gone back to school. When we've scaled back or changed course. Risk was there when we asked for forgiveness and offered compassion. It has been with us every time we've sought truth or resisted the status quo.

Without risk, I wonder if I can ever experience growth.

Though risk is inherent to a lot of choices we make, each of us has a different capacity for taking big leaps.  And what's worth risking for will vary from person to person. I happened to have married a man who goes all in from time to time, for whom risk is ubiquitous and often looks like looks like jumping in sight unseen. And I’ve had to learn for myself that risk can look like wading into the shallow end but willing to swim out from the shore when the time is right. And that both ways are equally valuable and brave.

I wish I was the person who cannonballs into uncharted waters but I am more like the type to tiptoe off the edge, eyes closed, praying for a gentle landing – these past few months have shown me there is more common ground among us then we might have thought when it comes to harnessing the courage to navigate the unknown. To step briefly toward risks we may have not considered before.

Summer has a way of calling us up and out. It has always found its footing by inviting us past our fears and experiences that make us feel alive.

Even if the landscape looks unlike it has before, perhaps this summer will be marked with an unprecedented feeling of freedom as I venture back into the world. Whatever may come, I hope I will find the risks worth taking toward a life beyond the shore.



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