What are you afraid of?

I don’t know if I’m doing life right. Sometimes I fear I’m not.

There are certainly moments—those crazy amazing moments when my chest flirts with explosion, and the emotional waves of happiness hit me so hard I think I might die. Those moments have happened, and the thought occurs that I must be doing something right. But, they are moments—fleeting moments.

Most of the time, I feel like a wandering amnesic. Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? Where am I going? How did I get HERE?

First, let me say, here isn’t a bad place. It’s a great place, actually. I am “lucky”.  There are endless statistics that prove it too. Basic needs—met. Secondary needs—met. Pretentious first-world problems—have em. All signs point to—YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL AND THEREFORE HAPPY EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY.

But, that just isn’t realistic. I’m not convinced it’s healthy or intended we be forever content. I’d be lying if I said I’m always content. I’m too passionate to be content, even if I wanted to be. I fear my passionate personality is somehow a fault. It, by nature, is in opposition to contentment. That being the case, more often than not, I feel I’m failing—I’m not doing it right because I’m always changing. The pendulum that is me is always in motion. More importantly, what worries me most is not, “Am I doing it right?” but rather, “Am I wasting it?”

The most cliché turn of phrase in existence may arguably be, Life is short. Here’s the thing with clichés—they’re often true. It’s true. Life is short. But how do we take a piece of advice turned worn-out-motto and make it speak to us?

For me, it means asking, “What are you afraid of?”

I’ve come to the conclusion (not on my own), that everything we do in life is driven by two emotions—love or fear. Every decision I’ve made ultimately boils down to those two polar-opposites. I was either motivated by love (in one of its many forms). Or, I was bullied by fear.

I’m here for a short time to experience this beautiful and brutal existence. And I may not be doing anything right, but I’m passionately learning everyday.  If I view that truth through a lens of love instead of fear—it is real, and it is worthy of this life. To hell with being rightWe need to give more credit to those who do real. Real is scary. People who do it aren’t worried about right, and they aren’t motivated by fear. REAL only exists in the presence of love.

I’ve thought about it—a lot. When I make a choice motivated by the fear of failure, loss, shame …the first thing that goes out the window? –the real me.

I hope, if nothing else, I can teach my children right doesn’t matter. Do not be afraid of being wrong, or failing, or making mistakes in the genuine pursuit of learning all that this short life has in store for you. Look for the love that exists in the growing and the living that comes with it all—even if that love must first come from ugly or painful lessons learned.

If there is growing and living, and love in the end … it may not have been right, because it was better than that. It was real. And no time was ever wasted being real.