You’re Going To Get Hurt Anyway. Choose When.
I want you to think about the last time you were in love.
Not the kind of love where you declare “I ♥ crème brûlée” on Facebook with a picture of your dessert…
Nor the one where you brag about your awesome job and say “I love Mondays”… That’s just humble-bragging and you know it.
Heck, I’m not even talking about those said with genuine gratitude either…
Like “I love my wedding planner”… Or “I love the new bike my wife got me”… or those calm, quiet moments at home when you have your arms wrapped around your loved ones and everything is perfect and peaceful.
No, I’m not talking about those kinds of love…
I’m talking about the last time you felt love at a cellular level
When your entire body ached… blood throbbed up your neck… and you could actually hear your heart beating.
The kind of love where…
You felt like you were dying when separated from your object of affection…
And when reunited, their touch was electricity coursing through your veins…
And your entire physical being vibrated and shook and your skin shivered.
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about…
That kind of teenage-hormone, chemically-fueled infatuated love.
But it’s not just romantic love (or raw physical lust)…
There are plenty of other times we’ve felt this intense too…
The first week of a new job. The first time you finally went and tried that hobby you’ve been meaning to forever. When you brought your child home for the first time.
Your first car. Your first apartment. The first time you closed a client. The first time you put your hard-earned money on an investment. The weeks leading up to the moment you proposed to your future wife.
Frankly — any time you took a risk with real personal stakes…
When there was a mix of uncertainty… anxiousness… and infinite possibilities.
When you were unapologetically vulnerable
It was new. You walked into the situation with open arms, open eyes, open ears.
You had no context yet. The landscape was wide open. And every damn thing was shiny.
It was like nothing you’d experienced before and you wanted to taste every single detail.
So here’s the thing…
Infatuation, in and of itself, is unhealthy. It’s not love.
But the intensity of that first experience, that newness, that unequivocal lightness of feeling woke…
That’s an invaluable state of being.
That’s what it’s like to feel alive.
Being alive hurts.
Recall the last time you were engaged. Driven. Passionate. Walking through the fire and determined.
Do you remember the adrenaline pumping through you?
Do you remember how you had to dance through the flames, stumbled a bit, but still got through it, singed but victorious?
Yeah, mistakes were made. Some things were lost. And you definitely got bruised and bloodied and you have battle-scars to tell your grandkids about…
You were alive and fighting and you loved every single minute of the sheer challenge in it all.
Today however, you might say…
“If I had known, I would’ve never done that”…
Or “If I could do it again, I’d do things differently”
Or maybe “I wouldn’t change a thing, it made me who I am today.”
That’s wisdom and experience speaking and that’s fine.
The real lesson here though is –
You did do it. You walked in blindly and you did it in spite of the newness, the uncertainty, the utter lack of context… not knowing where this would lead.
And my question to you is…
When was the last time you threw yourself into the fire and chaos like this?
Maybe it was last week. Maybe it’s been a few years.
But if you think back to these instances of walking into uncertainty…
These were the greatest times of your life. Everything was on the table and you gave it your all and you received the most important lessons from the universe.
But yeah… you probably got hurt too.
That’s one of the biggest reasons why we avoid these feelings and experiences and opportunities.
They tempt us and we remember the pain and we suppress them and run away from them.
We play the Avoidance Game:
“Oh, I don’t have time for that…”
“I’m too busy…”
“Maybe, when things settle down a bit…”
And what we end up doing is we deaden ourselves to the world.
We play it safe. We see anything remotely intense and we walk away from it. We stick to our routines and habits and the familiar.
And then — years pass. Decades pass… and we wonder what the hell happened to our lives.
Well. Here’s your answer:
You’re afraid of getting hurt again. You can’t deal with the intensity of real love, real risk, real stakes.
“You’re getting too old for this shit”, you tell yourself.
Guess what? You’re NOT.
And guess what else? You’re going to get hurt anyway.
The kind of hurt that’s dull and empty and filled with regrets.
If you keep saying “I’m too busy”… and “That’s not for me anymore”… and “I’m too old for that”…
More and more doors are going to shut and close and some may never open up again.
The third axiom here at The Cave is…
Now – Reinvent Your Game
I like the word “now” in there. It means the present. Like, right now.
And reinventing your game often means you have to throw a grenade at your own life.
Mess up your schedule. Break your routine. Destroy your homeostasis.
Just stir shit up and deal with the consequences later.
I’m not saying leave your wife and go tour with a rock band…
But hey, if that’s what you really want…
Maybe let that intention be known to her and your kids… and start with creating a set list for a small gig at your local cafe.
So here’s my challenge to you today…
What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to?
What’s something you can do in the next five minutes to get started?
And don’t cheat by just “researching on Google”. That doesn’t count.
In fact, don’t buy books or self-study courses either.
That just gives you a cheap high and then the thing sits on your shelf or hard drive.
Transformation only occurs when you have a new conversation.
It could be with a stranger.
It could be with a friend, but a topic you’ve never discussed.
It could be with someone you’re close to, but something you’ve avoided for a while.
That’s what catalyzes you into something new.
All the conversations with yourself doesn’t matter until you make it real with someone outside of you.
Call up a teacher in your area and book a trial first lesson.
Walk into a dojo, studio or gym and book that first appointment.
Ask that person out… or send them that email you keep putting off… or throw a project idea at them…
Whoever that person is in love, family or business…
Maybe they’ll be into you… or willing to talk… or interested in what you’ve got.
Or maybe they won’t be, and you’ll have to move on… or try again later.
Either way, you’ll have started something new… and the universe will reward you. I promise you.