Painted Orange

love shines on

The World Is Scary as Hell. Live Anyway.

We live in a world where people are murdered, at schools, in concerts, in Paris, and in war. Shootings have become a part of our headlines, cancer and other diseases continue to claim lives, and chances are we have lost someone that we love.

I have seen my fair share of evil in this world, seeing some of my friends bought and sold for their bodies. I’ve seen people reduced to objects more times than I care to remember. Some people have even tried to buy me.

I really don’t need to go on any further. You don’t need me telling you why the world is scary. I’m certain that you already know the dangers yourself. They creep into your thoughts and somehow into your actions. Before you know it you’re afraid to hop on airplane in fear that might crash, afraid to go into a crowd for fear that someone might come with a gun, afraid to try something new in fear that you might fail.

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I get it. I’m afraid too.

Just the other week I was at Rockefeller Plaza in a crowd so thick I couldn’t walk, and the thought that invaded my thoughts is how we were a perfect target for a terrorist attack. The police I saw walking around with assault rifles confirmed that I wasn’t the only one thinking this.

And I hated it.

I hated that it was a thought in my mind, in everyone’s mind. Couldn’t I just enjoy the Christmas season for what it was, without the fear of being shot?

About a month ago I was driving across New Zealand, and every second I was in awe of the beauty I saw. I couldn’t drive more than ten minutes without pulling over to take in the beauty. Fear was far from my mind and I was drinking in every second, feeling boundless in what I could do. Until, suddenly, I didn’t.

You see on a particularly gorgeous lookout, my eyes were locked on the beauty and I didn’t see the rock in my peripheral. The rock that I hit and took the side bumper off of my rental car.

Immediately, fear threatened to consume me and my immediate reaction was to just give up. To stop. So nothing else would go wrong.

Maybe if I stayed on that pull-off long enough somehow the bumper would magically attach itself, or at least I wouldn’t have to deal with my own my mistake.

But I had to go on, so I ripped off what was left with the bumper and put the giant bumper in the back of the car.

I drove slower after that, too slow. And I refused to pulloff for any more views in fear that I would make my mistake worse.

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The next morning I woke up and I had the urge to stay home. I was tired. And I was afraid that I could have another accident and make the rental even worse. I wanted to protect what I still had. And if I didn’t do any more driving there was no way it could get worse… but it wouldn’t get any better either.

I think that’s a lot of our reactions when something goes wrong in our lives: hoard, protect, to keep what we have safe. So that it doesn’t get damaged and so that no one takes it.

We see this behavior after a broken heart when we are afraid to love again, in fear that what remains of our heart will get broken. We see it when we fail and have the urge to stop trying out of fear that we just don’t have what it takes. I’ve read a couple of stories of the survivors of mass shootings who are so crippled by fear they are not able to leave their house, terrified that their lives being taken from them.

I get it. I do. I am not condemning those who are afraid because survivors have every reason to be afraid. The worst happened, so who is to say it won’t happen again?

There’s no guarantee of our safety if we get out there and risk, we could fail, get our hearts broken, or even lose our lives. But if we choose to let fear keep us locked up, keep us safe, we’re living as if we’re already dead.

What life is there to be had when we are building walls around our houses and our hearts? The walls might protect us from danger, but they also protect us from life.

There is always more life to be had when we tear down our walls and experience the world around us. To feel, to touch, to taste, to experience. It’s scary out there, but it’s also incredibly beautiful.

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Back to the car whose bumper I had just ripped off in New Zealand, and my urge to spend my last day in New Zealand inside the four walls of my hotel room. My urge to hoard and protect what I still possessed was strong, but there was something even stronger.

The urge to live.

I still had grass to run my fingers through, mountain roads to weave down, and views to take my breath away. And I wasn’t going to miss out on it because something worse could happen that day. Because something incredibly beautiful could happen that day, too. And the beauty was worth the risk.

So I took the risk, I jumped in the car and saw the forest of middle earth and perfectly still lakes that reflected the mountains above them. What I experienced that day was worth the risk. Life was worth the risk.

The world is scary as hell. Live anyway.

 

 

About Meghan Tschanz

I believe in love, empowerment. and adventure. The kind of love that believes in the face of adversity, the empowerment that allows people to step into their destiny, and the kind of adventure that leaves your heart pounding in your chest. I write because I want to remind us all that there is so much more to life.

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  • seth_barnes

    Great message to start 2016 – one I intend to live by! Thanks for showing us the way, Meghan.

    • http://paintedorange.org Meghan Tschanz

      Thanks Seth! You have always been such an encouragement!

  • http://brantliveson.blogspot.com Brant Copen

    “The walls might protect us from danger, but they also protect us from life.” Love it!

    • http://paintedorange.org Meghan Tschanz

      Yes Brant! Love to see that you are living that life!