Risk. The exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a dangerous chance. To risk is to jump into the unknown. To risk is to be unaware of the outcome. To risk is to measure the cost of an action and to choose it anyway. Lives are built to take risks. Getting out of bed is a risk. Driving a car is a risk. Exposure to chance of injury or loss is a daily occurrence multiplied times 10,000. There is no need to leave the comfort zone so carefully constructed. There is no need to leave the house of my own making. Risk will find me there.
Managing risk is subconsciously done in awake moments. Every decision can be narrowed down to risk vs. reward. Is it worth it? Is is peril or purpose? Is it jeopardy or joy? Consciousness takes a holiday and Unconsciousness has the upper hand. The Un- means not. Not thinking. Not considering. Not actively choosing. Allowing life to ‘happen-to’ instead of choosing it. By not choosing, I am choosing. Risk exists, no matter if I manage it or not. It is a constant. It is independent of my choices.
Physical risk is to be avoided to prevent injury. Emotional risk is evaded for fear of heartbreak. Spiritual risk is dodged for too many reasons to list here. All chances taken are just that, chances…which may or may not work out. Much fear rises up, or no fear at all. Over thinking, or not thinking. Intentional choice, or a roll of the dice.
Safety takes preeminence over risk. Why would I run into danger when I could be safe? Why would I take a chance when I can stay where I am? Taking no risks is far easier than putting myself out there. Vulnerability strips me naked. Transparency means I am seen. Risking exposure of my true self is daunting, because failure is an option, rejection is a possibility, injury is 100% likely. Children do not risk-manage their lives, because they are natural risk takers. Or I say so, but the reality is they don’t know the risks, and therefore do not feel the need to control their environment. They learn how to do that once pain becomes a reality. I have a lifetime of avoiding pain of all kinds. It is second nature now. Unconscious behavior shaped by protective walls and bubbles. Until, out-of-control happens without my permission. Then all bets are off. Risk becomes the enemy. Conscious risk management = being in control. Safety becomes an idol. Walls get taller, bubbles get bigger.
Unless. Unless my eyes open to see. I am not safe. Control is an illusion. Safety is a prison of sorts. From my cell, I cannot get hurt, but I cannot be known either. How badly do I want to be known? To belong? To have deep connection? Bad enough to risk? Bad enough to take a chance? There is danger. There is uncertainty. There is fear. The question is, can I afford to take the risk? Will it be worth the cost? If I hedge my bets, I might come out ahead or I might not. But isn’t that better than living in a prison cell of my own construction. Maybe a better question is…Can I afford NOT to take a risk?