What Expands Our Life

There are some quotations that hang around in my mind.

One that has itself good and lodged in there these hot summer days and nights is a single line from Anaïs Nin, first written, perhaps, in her diaries.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

This summer, like any summer or any part of any year, has had a lot of decisions. Buy the plane ticket or stay put. Ask for help or figure it out alone. Say yes or no. Believe this or that.

For those decisions that are dense and confusing, that could give you a two-year headache or heartache, I’ve been asking myself: Does this shrink or expand my life?

Which led me to buying the plane ticket, asking for help, saying no to the offer, believing in love and art while cruelty and destruction seemed all over.

And in the quieter moments of a hot summer night, I’ve wondered if this is part of how we grow our courage. Decision by decision by decision.

Which seems a little less daunting, doesn’t it? We don’t need Kilimanjaros to climb or English Channels to swim to get braver.

We only need decisions. And the willingness to walk towards what expands our life.

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