courage and my (blue) Turkish eye


It's no secret I seek to expand my horizons. To practice courage-building. To go beyond my comfort zone, creatively, intellectually and occasionally physically. 

I feel safety is vastly overrated sometimes, especially in western culture. 

Actually, I feel strongly that there really isn't any safety! That safety is a white lie we tell ourselves. A lie we get fed, to keep us from changing the system. We are all going to die. Every single being that is born, dies. There's no guarantees. You could live to be 3 days old or 3 decades. You could be 97 years or 97 hours. No guarantees. 

(I've still got my kid in a good booster seat and I wear my seatbelt. I don't believe in guarantees, but I still follow basic safety precautions.)

What I aim for is not the safe life, but the life that feels like me. I want to love, to live. To thrive. Sometimes that looks a little dangerous to other people, I guess. 

Certain people ask why we go to "unsafe" destinations. Others wonder why we'd let Remy ride horses. I don't even remember half the things people commend me for my courageousness in doing, because I don't understand why that would be considered courageous. 

I live my life. This one precious, amazing, awesome (sometimes very shitty and painful) life. I'm not trying for safe. But I'm not trying for reckless, either. Sometimes I make poor decisions and sometimes I make good ones. There's no certainty. I know shit happens and it's how we deal with the aftermath that tells us the most about ourselves. 

And I have no way of knowing that it is this way of living that's given me the awesomeness that is my life right now. I don't really see any other way of being. I could see where different choices would lead to different scenarios, but I make the choices I want to make and accept the consequences. 

I don't think I have the best life. I know I have the only life I can imagine having and to me, that's the only life I could want. (The best life for me.) 

And I know I have the power to change what I can change (my responses, especially) and I know what isn't in my power to change (other people's responses). 

Still. I have this blue Turkish eye (see the photo above) in my car, hanging from the rear view mirror, along with a peace dove hamsah and a kabbalistic red cord. I've carefully collected these symbols of safety. I'm not foolish enough to believe they'll guarantee anything, but I'm prone to anxiety (especially in the car) and I know worrying doesn't change anything except to make the moment unpleasant. Every time I notice my safety symbols, I am reminded that in that moment, I am safe and worry is unnecessary. 

And thus, my blue Turkish eye is really a mindfulness tool. 

This moment is the only moment I have. 

I am grateful for this moment, for all the moments that make up my one, amazing (sometimes painful) life. No guarantees, only love. 

Only love.