I watched my three-year-old son, Abraham, opening Christmas gifts from friends a couple weekends past. I stared at the wonder in his eyes, remembering when he was too little to even comprehend what presents were and why he was receiving them. Miniature farm animals, dump trucks full of legos, little candy coins were scattered all over the living room as he moved from toy to toy, deciding how they all could play together.
That night, I laid in bed reading and listening to my son breathing deeply in his sleep. I read a quote from Rumi. “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” I flashed back to Abe’s first year, watching him desperately try to crawl, ending up doing a sort of awkward scoot for months. There came a point that we never thought he would learn to crawl, let alone walk. But of course, not only did he crawl, he stood up and wandered away one day. And we rejoiced!
But reading that Rumi quote also made me dream about Abraham’s vigor and the wild curiosity he carries with him as he flies through his own little fearless life. If he falls, makes a mistake, or misuses the English language, he doesn’t get embarrassed. He authentically mourns and then moves on with admirable resilience. Failure never keeps him from trying. Falling never keeps him from flying.
We ask the same of our RTC authors, and it’s one of the most difficult things to ask any adult to do. Crawling, staying near to the ground, avoiding risk and discomfort…after a while it’s what we train ourselves to do. Failure becomes too painful. Rejection is no longer an option. So, as Brene Brown says, while we’re busy avoiding any pain or discomfort, we are simultaneously limiting ourselves from experiencing the greatest joys life has to offer.
But RTC authors must swan dive into the process of writing their books. They must take the risk of telling their own personal, imperfect stories. Sharing the truth about who they really are so that the rest of humanity can see there is no flawless person, it’s a brave and beautiful gift. These are people who could choose to crawl through life but, instead, have decided to fly despite the great risk of falling.
We are blessed that our RTC Authors chose to use their wings. I encourage you, as we enter this new year, to commit yourself to the opportunity to fly. If you’re thinking about writing that book, starting that side business, going after any dream, do so with the same passion and vigor Abraham lives in his life. Live and love recklessly, make mistakes and mourn them, but then get up and go at it again. This 2014, try flying.