I listened to a talk today that inspired me to be better. Better at being ... well, a HUMAN. 

Unlike David (to the R) who PR'd his half marathon last weekend and took 3rd in his age group (out of 216 - congrats, man!), I sometimes let fear hold me back.

Fear of what?

It'd be easier to list all of things I'm NOT afraid of (Ha!). Not really. Actually, it's a pretty short list. Here it is: 

  1. Pain. I fear the pain of failure, rejection & ridicule. I fear the pain of loss (love & liberty). I fear the pain of inaction as much as I fear acting and then screwing up. I fear the pain of ill health (You knew this one would be in there!). I fear the pain of death.

 I Guess that about sums it up. I fear pain.

The talk I heard today gave me clarity that I haven't had in a while. The main thing I learned was this: 

We are already IN the battle. 

Fear, or no fear. Pain, or no pain. We are neck deep in it, man. Maybe chin deep already. No one is getting out of this life unscathed.   

Pain is one of life's certainties. It's right up there with "death and taxes." When it comes to dealing with pain, we have only 2 choices:

  1. We can turn our backs on the pain, and hope we can blindly "flinch" at all the right times as life stabs us in the back, or ...
  2. We can turn and face our fear and FRICKIN PUNCH IT BACK.

Both of these choices hurt, but one is more noble than the other. It's more bold, more courageous, more trancendent than the other. Either way, anyone hoping to secure a more healthy and meaningful life will have to choose one. 

For me, I've never been all that lucky. I doubt I'll ever figure out when exactly to flinch.