Sounds like a no brainer right? Be alive. But seriously, being alive takes some skill. We can sit through life with a regular routine that never challenges us. Or, we can live lives that make us feel alive.
This past week, I went to Montana for a family vacation. This trip got me pondering what it means to be alive. We drove on “Going to the sun road” through Glacier National Park and I was swept away with the grand majesty of our nation’s land. We also spent time on a boat in Whitefish Lake and I was impacted by the world around me. (FYI -I have a weird fear of deep water; I say, weird because I don’t know where it came from, and I haven’t yet worked it out-I say this because fear is definitely related to this post!)
I came to realize this about fear and the wonderful feeling of being alive. They go hand in hand. At the moment our lives are threatened, we look for ways to survive and we live more vigorously. At the greatest heights of Glacier National park I was in awe of how incredible the view was. But when I looked down, I was terrified. On the lake, when I looked around I was exhilarated by the views of the glassy waters, and surrounding land, but on imagining the depths of my surroundings -below me, around me, and above -I was terrified.
I think we all have these moments where panic and exhilaration combine. Usually, fear takes over and we hate these moments. But I wanted so badly to get over my fear of water, that I chose to experience it as my life at the most vulnerable and sublime moment. I think these powerful moments are here to bless us with raw feelings of being alive.
You can apply this concept to all your fears. Whether they are of public speaking, being around massive amounts of people, fear of heights, water, etc. there is a surreal and raw sweetness from which to learn.
I wish I had more moments like that I can learn from in ways that only fear can initiate. It’s that incredible feeling of being alive, surviving something awesome, thrilling, terrifying, and beautiful.
This week I am going to see life through that lens -sensitive, raw, terrifying, thrilling, and beautiful. My everyday life definitely doesn’t have me going to Glacier National Park, but perhaps this feeling of being alive can be magnified. Because the feeling of fear can be mysterious, coming and going at a moments notice. This week I will seek to be this change: Be thrilled, be terrified, be beautifully alive.