Living or Lived?

     Are you living life, or is life living you? What I mean is this: are you an active participant or a passive bystander? When you look back on the life you’ve been given, the time you’ve had, will you say you spent each moment intentionally, or did your seconds silently turn into years and before you knew it, life was gone?
      Kierkegaard wrote about a coin he received as change that had been passed around so many times the face had been worn off. He looked at this and realized the risk people take when they seek to be accepted rather than seeking to be their authentic self.
      Finding yourself, defining yourself, is not terribly difficult. When it becomes truly difficult is after you’ve found or rediscovered yourself. At that point you have something to lose, you have a reason to be held accountable, and you risk being hurt. But anything less is to ensure you will never truly be in relationship, you will never truly live your life, and your happiness will be a fleeting emotion dependent upon others and external factors.

To Venture.

     Kierkegaard wrote that “To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self” (Works of Love). How far are you willing to go to find yourself, so that you may truly be in relationship with others?
     The Truman Show is a cinematic expression of this idea. Truman could not shake the feeling that his life wasn’t “real”. His losses seemed genuine, and certainly tragic at times, but other people’s reactions were incongruent with his what his own psyche told him. The idea that everything left to be explored, had been explored, seemed so impossible it was unacceptable. Even his relationships were too sterile and nice. There is a grittiness to real life that cannot be avoided. If we attempt to avoid it, we fall into a neurotic anxiety.
     What we must ask ourselves, then, is this: Are we brave enough to face reality? No matter what anyone says, real relationships will always involve fear because they always involve risk. But to not take that chance, is to miss out on life, entirely. Which will win, the desire to live an authentic life or fear of getting hurt?