On the Particularity of Risk


Upon visiting my friend Kaz’s On(e) Love blog yesterday (http://onloveonelove.blogspot.com/), I found this poem by Anaïs Nin:

RISK

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.

True to form, Kaz followed the poem with a beautiful meditation on the risks of love. And true to form (for my form, at least), I finished reading the poem and started meditating on the risks of new endeavors.

Which led to another meditation, in turn, on the highly individual nature of risk itself.

Because the thing is, there are things that are universally risky (like love and new endeavors) but our individual risk appetites for each of these universal items will vary, depending on which aspects of our identity tend to be most vulnerable. We’re all quite capable of throwing caution to the wind, but we’re only adept at it in areas where the caution (for us) was dispensable to begin with.

Which is why some of us can be astoundingly impulsive when it comes to love while remaining obstinately conservative when it comes to new endeavors (and vice versa). At the end of the day, we’re all desperate to protect some thing and it’s our life-long task to relinquish that urge “to remain tight in a bud” in those areas where it’s riskiest for us to blossom.

Because it’s in those areas, precisely, where we bloom most beautifully.

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