Why Risks Are An Important Part Of Life

doors risk opportunity

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Hi there, welcome back to Kelly Martin Speaks. I’m your host Kelly Martin and this is episode 96.

Today I am going to talk about risks and why we cannot avoid risks if we are alive.

Life is one big risk. Life is uncertain, unknown and especially at this time in history we may think we need to avoid risks and avoid life so as to stay safe and well. Fear of death, fear of loss can often push us into limitation and attempts to avoid risks.

Most of us, if we are honest, spend our lives trying to be very secure. We want to know what is around the corner, we want to control how our lives work, we want to stop challenges or confrontation, we want to live on our terms.

The problem with living a life trying to prevent risk is that we live a half-life.

Life in all its thrills and uncertainties is meant to feel alive. If life were without risk it would be not be life, it would be death.

It’s easy to live life within our comfort zone. Well I say easy, it’s more an uncomfortable kind of easy. When we live in the comfort zone we feel safe. The comfort zone is the known, but it’s an illusion of safety.

Right now as the virus still whirls around the planet many people are scared, many people are trying to avoid the virus, many people are trying to avoid financial challenges due to lockdown or mental health issues due to social isolation or social distancing, but it is in this very avoiding that life is being missed.

Now I am not saying you break from lockdown or go against the rules of your country. I am not saying you don’t work and going into financial bankruptcy, but I am saying those afraid to get the virus may find fear has become the new virus. And those who are afraid of bankruptcy or losing their businesses or money, that fear has become your virus.

We may judge those who think about the economy or their financial welfare as wrong in comparison to life and people’s health and wellbeing. In the UK there are two camps happening. We have people who are in high risk groups and people who generally think it is too soon to relax lockdown measures. They are understandably scared to go out into the world again as the deaths continue due to the virus.

And in the other camp we have those who feel that if they don’t go back to work, if restrictions are not relaxed and they can’t make money, pay the bills, stop their business going bankrupt that their life will end too.

So, both have the same fears, one a fear of death, another a fear of death in a different way. Yet death in a strange way is secure, it is something that stops life and risks, but risks are how we are meant to live.

Reaching for a semblance of control, yearning for a feeling of security is trying to live within what you know. In this you may believe there is no risk, you may have the illusion of feeling safe and secure.

But then you are at the grave already, dead.

And the very thing you fear is already here.

Right now, in most countries, life is very different, and it is going remain different and changeable for some time.

There Is No Going Back To ‘Normal’

coronavirus exit strategyMost people, at least in the west, have not lived a life where things are more out of their control. Most people have followed the crowd, live a life going from A to Z, a very linear life. Where you are born, go to school, get a career, meet a lover, get married, have children, buy a home, have holidays, retire, have grandchildren and die.

It is a well-ordered life, but perhaps this pandemic is an invitation to a less well-ordered life. Perhaps this pandemic is an invitation to a life out of our control. Perhaps this pandemic is teaching us that our way of life was too structured, too known, too certain, and that we forgot how to truly live.

When we avoid risk, we avoid love.

When we avoid risk, we avoid genuinely heart-beating joy.

When we avoid risk, we avoid praise and pleasure.

When we avoid risk, we avoid pain and criticism.

Because if we avoid risk, we are missing out on all the treasures of simply being human.

Whether this current historical challenge we are going through means we risk catching the virus, or lockdown means we have to completely turn our world upside down and find a new way of working, living, running a business, isn’t it worth it?

What is life if we fear the death of our human body or fear the death of our identity through what we used to do and be in the world?

I keep hearing people say they want life to go back to normal.

We may not have any normal again.

And when I say this, I mean in the sense of what was known.

Instead we may have risk, we may have aliveness, we may have happiness, joy, peace, pain, fear, uncertainty. We may have a greater sense of the meaning and value of life.

The meaning of life is risk, risking being alive. And for me I have found greater meaning and greater value during this lockdown, during this social distancing, during these changes, but I also see why people are not only scared of catching this virus, but scared of losing the identity they had been living with for so long.

That identity could be being wealthy. That identity could be having numerous holidays and sharing them on their Instagram page or Facebook. That identity could be through their careers, being a hotshot celebrity or someone always in front of an audience, who suddenly is without a real physical audience.

The ego-mind can do funny things when faced with loss and change. We all adapt and adjust to change in our own unique way.

Finding New Value In Life

hands seedling

Yet the more we embrace the changing reality, the more we expect further change, the greater we will find new ways to value our lives. When life becomes more vital, more filled with vitality, we discover great value in the simple, the leaf on the branch, the bird in the tree, our lover’s touch, the air on our skin. Those things that we may have overlooked due to trying to control the uncontrollable become more visible in our reality. As life wakes up in us, a new way of living occurs.

Perhaps something deep within the human race was yearning for a new life, a new aliveness. The masks many of us have worn for so long could have become such a burden that on a soul level we all made a call out for change. Maybe we didn’t want change in this way, maybe we think we would have never asked for thousands upon thousands of people to die and for life to change ‘this’ much, but on some level we were requesting change, otherwise it would simply not be happening. Especially on this global scale.

The best people on this planet we can look to so as to understand risk, feeling purely alive, are children. Unlike adults, most of them are not tainted with a desire for the security of the known. They are still explorers, adventurers. They go outside and play and are fascinated with a deeply held curiosity in the butterfly that lands on the flower. The child is lost to the moment. The child isn’t trying to be someone, the child isn’t trying to achieve something, the child is simply purely alive.

When we live a life trying to avoid all risk, we become a shell of our true self. We forget how to live. We become more stiff, more structured as we try to colour within the lines.

Because life is risk.

As we live in this new reality, we could go on avoiding risks, but what would happen is, that we would still eventually die, whatever work we do or don’t do. We would still eventually reach the end of change. Life is about endings and beginnings regardless of how much we attempt to control it.

What matters is how we choose to live it.

Now, during this world crisis, we can decide to make choices. When lockdown restrictions are lifted, we can stay locked inside, even if we have permission by our governments to leave and lower the risk of death or health issues OR we can risk following our instincts, being wise, trusting the unfolding and go from there.

This doesn’t mean we take unnecessary risks; it doesn’t mean we go and sit among a crowd of strangers risking catching the virus; that wouldn’t be a natural risk, that would be forcing something, but we don’t live afraid that we could die, because we are all going there some day anyway.

And if we are to be in lockdown for longer, guided by our governments, we can continue to try and control and panic about losing our livelihoods, or look to see if we are okay right now, if we have enough food to eat and a roof over our heads and can we be okay with risking living a simple less full life for now? And if we have no food, can we risk reaching out to our fellow humans for help?

These choices are all that we can make, to do or not do, to take risks, to change our perspective on the entire situation, to find new value and worth in our world. To adapt, change and welcome the unexpected and the uncertainty.

For it is when we try and strangle our world through control that we have lost the true meaning of life, to live.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Kelly Martin Speaks

If you have a question or topic you are struggling with and would like me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode, please get in touch. Your name will be confidential. EMAIL me at kellymartinspeaks@gmail.com or message me on Facebook via my page Kelly Martin Speaks.

And don’t forget, if you feel that others are passing you by and ‘The Not Good Enough’ voice is screaming loudly, pop by kellymartin.uk to find out all about my books, including Book 1 ‘When Everyone Shines but You’

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Until next time…bye for now

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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