Lately, I have been leaning into the concept that there are consequences for everything. While I know the word consequence has a negative or punitive connotation, for the purposes of this conversation, I want us to adopt a ‘causeand effect’ definition to understand consequences in the context of our lives.

We’ve long been indoctrinated to think of consequences in terms of action or the result of doing something—based on a choice or decision that we make. This causes us to spend a lot of time thinking about our choices, often feeling paralyzed from making a choice or taking action out of fear of getting it wrong. Instead we freeze and do nothing.

We forget that there are consequences for not taking action. There are consequences for putting ourselves on the sidelines or not answering the call of something that we want.

There are consequences to holding ourselves back.

What do these consequences look like? Are they quiet and insidious weaving their way into the fabric and patterns of our lives, small hiccups undetected by the naked eye but yet over time and general accumulation, lessen our quality of life?

Or are the consequences of not taking action louder and more impactful, things that leave us with sleepless nights and decades of regret? Things that repeat over and over again on the broken record of our head whispering…”what if?”

The kind of thoughts that throb in our mind, trying to convince us that life would have been so different had we taken action, had we said yes, had we not held back by fear.

And what causes us to hold ourselves back? Why do we make these fears so big, feeling as if they swallow the entire room? Why do the fears seem so dark and scary paralyzing us from moving forward in any capacity. I can think of the times when I did not walk through fire or say yes to something that was shouting affirmatively in my heart so loudly that there was nothing else I could think about.

I think about the small regrets and the ones much larger that feel as if they have hunted the halls of my life for over a decade. When this happens, why can’t we seem to shake ourselves free of these old ghosts?

These are the times that letting go feels as if we have to pry our fingers one at a time from the grip we have such a tight hold on.

And why would we bother with such efforts? Because the truth on the other side is freedom. Letting go, fully living, and taking action now rather than someday allow us to truly be free.

I want freedom now. Freedom from my fears. Freedom from my doubts. Freedom from my worries. The freedom that allows me to step into all vulnerabilities knowing that I will come out on the other side ok—completely whole and all the better for my gallivant efforts.

So what’s the solution? I believe it is a cocktail of willingness, courage, and self love. The solution has a dollop of self-worth and resilience to it that can only be derived from the element of experience. Experiences of falling down and getting up. Failing and still surviving. Going through the worst and still being alive.

Life teaches us this, time teaches us this, wisdom teaches us this and all the while the one thing that I know is true is that no one can do it for you. To walk through fire is something that you have to do yourself but you don’t have to do alone. And of course there are always consequences to not taking action.

So, what’s next?

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