“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anaïs Nin
Be thankful, brethren, that you possess not the power of giants… Because if we left homo sapiens in charge of an expanding universe, life on either side of everywhere would rapidly cease to resemble a functional, and what appears to be well-thought-out, system.
Now plants, they would be fit to rule. A plant knows what it needs to grow, and grow is the one thing it’s bent on doing. An almost total absence of soil? Severe drought? Atop a snowy mountain? No problem! They’ll adopt and live to thrive another day. Some, like South Africa’s very own national flower the Protea, will consume itself in flames if that means the Phoenix will level up, double points-style, when it rises once more. A memo that clearly didn’t reach the washed-up Hollywood-stars whole generations spend their productive hours reading about.
Physics prized us with the laws of thermodynamics. Should you need a more simplified version of expansion and contraction than the likes of Stephen Hawking provides, ask your local personal trainer or Weigh Less group leader. They witness its workings every day 🙂
As humans, we find ourselves in a unique position. Contrary to the nature of any other living organism on this planet, we have a choice in the size of our selves. The unseen bit is what I’m getting at. To look good on the beach, eat your greens and go for walks at sunset and you should be just fine.
We’re born, as much as our socio-economical backgrounds and familial, cultural and/or religious dramas will allow, with as much a clean slate as we’ll ever have. From our earliest start under those stark industrial lights, Uncle Doctor’s palm hitting our unsuspecting tiny bottoms, the arrows are drawn and it’s a fight-for-your-life carnival. The question on the lips of every hourglass reads, “Will you expand, in spite of…or contract, because of…?”
American poet Louise Bogan exclaimed, perhaps when confronted with just such morbidity, that she couldn’t believe the inscrutable universe turned on an axis of suffering; that surely the strange beauty of the world must somehow rest on pure joy.
Indeed. Joy enters when we scale the walls we built to keep the Nasties out: Fear. Doubt. Shame. Anger. Criticism. Jealousy. In shielding ourselves from the risk of being stung by these adders, we might unknowingly close off our valves to our inner selves – and our lives – as well. Then, seemingly uncontrollably, we’re plants gone rogue, suicidal species hell-bent on crushing every good happenstance, every caring, well-meaning person, and every life-giving drop of water sent our way.
To break free, you need to risk standing bare-chested on the battlefield, plate of armour cast aside. Shrinking makes everything smaller; not just the target area [trust the wisdom of the Weigh Less consultant]. Be bold. Go big. And take it from Lao-Tzu: “Be really whole. And all things will come to you.“