To Play Or Not To Play Safe ......

 

 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” 
Anais Nin

 

My friend and I  finally connected after playing phone tag for several weeks and were anxious to catch up with each other.  Right before we dived into the conversation, she said,

“Girl, my nephew is here”

Those five simple words meant that we both understood that our phone conversation would be parallel with her conversation with her 4 year old nephew and punctuated by the familiar phrases that you have with children while you are on the phone with someone else.  Let’s also not forget the fact that before and after the phone call, children completely ignore you.  When the phone rings it’s like a conversation magnet for them. And they ask you everything ....... and you are pouring out the familiar litany of responses.....

“Yes, you can have your snack now – Put that down – Yes, your picture is beautiful – No, it’s not time for lunch, I just made your breakfast – Yes, I love you, too – Thank you for giving me a hug and a nice picture –No, it's still not time for lunch- Okay, you can have your picture back- Be careful with the scissors –It's not safe to run with scissors- Okay, we’ll go outside – Put your helmet on first- No, I won’t let you ride your tricycle until you put on your helmet – Play safe”

 

During her conversation with me, we talked about her niece who took a huge leap of faith and was pursuing her passion for music.  My friend shared a recent conversation that she had with her niece, and how proud she was of her.  Her niece left her comfortable job and life, because she felt a call and need to follow her passion and talent. There were some bumps in the road, but she didn’t regret her decision and told my friend, “Auntie, my life shifted when I remember you told me not to play it safe”

 

It struck me that during our conversation, my friend was telling her nephew to play it safe, because it was for her nephew's benefit.  Playing safe was guarding him from dangers that he wasn’t able to handle. Yet we were also having a parallel conversation where my friend told her niece to not play it safe and it worked out to her niece's benefit.  Not playing it safe allowed her to take a leap of faith and encounter a new life that she never imagined.

 

Safe
1.       Not dangerous - unlikely to cause or result in harm, injury, or damage
2.       Cautious and conservative - cautious with regard to risks or unforeseen problems, conservative with regard to estimates, or unadventurous with regard to choices and decisions

 

There are times to play it safe, I’m not going to ride my motorcycle without a helmet, not going to drive 100 miles an hour in a snowstorm, not going to put my hand in a blender and not going to get caught up in the Indy 500 traffic on Memorial Day weekend.. (if you live in Indy, you already know)

But there are times not to play it safe, stepping out of a comfort zone to pursue a passion/call, having the courage to initiate a difficult but needed conversation, telling someone how you feel, steering away from what is expected, and doing what you feel and fear the most.

 

Several years ago, I made a decision that was definitely not playing it safe.  I shifted my life, career, family, friends and comfort and leaped from Cali to Indy.  It was a new place, a new culture (which I am still adjusting to) and new adventure.  Scared to death when I did it, but now that I am on the other side, I don’t regret the season that I have been here.  Traveled to over a dozen countries, published book and articles, been challenged, established friendships and relationships that have been life changing, answered a call, confronted and responded to truths and untruths, learned about boundaries, discovered strengths, and stepped out in faith and everything else.  It has been bumpy, unpredictable, exhilarating,  testing, boring, rejuvenating, heartbreaking, heart lifting and tiring, but I would never have experienced it if I played it safe and take a risk. It was a God moment not accepting the position would have confined me to a prison of regret .... and I'm not going there.

 

One of my friends gave me a card and note that I cherish- the cover was a quote from Anais Nin,  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” That’s the safety test for me  - When the pain of  the risk of playing it safe is more painful than the risk of not playing it safe - choose to not play safe."

 

A study was done with hospice patients who shared what their biggest life regrets  ... and one of the most consistent answers were the things that they wished they had done.  No one ever talked about the moments that they didn't step out of the comfort zone and played it safe.

 

I am literally here on this earth because someone took a risk and leap of faith. When my mother graduated from high school, she left the safety of Texas, her parents, siblings and entire community to live my great aunt in California.  She shares how there were nights when she cried, but she stuck it out.  The blessing is that there was a handsome young man in California who thought my Mama was fine (and fifty plus years later, he still does) and asked her to marry him.  Grateful that she leaped.

 

Play it safe or Don’t play it safe.

The risk is up to no one else but you .....

You're always worth it taking a risk for ........ 

Love you,

Sheila

 

P. S. Take time to reflect on the quotes below...feel free to give me your thoughts and leave a comment on my page.

 

 

From the Jewelry Box... "The right word at the right time is like a custom made piece of jewelry.

“No one ever achieved greatness by playing it safe.”  Harry Gray 
“When you settle for anything short of the best life God wants to offer you, then you have been tempted to remain safe and the accountability for not changing your life becomes your prison of regret.”     Shannon L Alder
The best thing to do is stare it in the face and move on. We have to face our fears and plow through. I think taking chances takes a lot more courage than staying stagnant and doing what's safe and comfortable.   Terri Clark
“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. “ William Shedd
““Excellence can be obtained if you: care more than others think is wise; risk more than others think is safe; dream more than others think is practical; expect more than others think is possible.” 
“Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward.”    Robert Collier