The Initial ‘YES’

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” -Agnew De Mille

It occurred to me recently that every act of bravery I’ve ever taken, began with a simple, bold “yes”. Courage came in a moment, sweeping through me with a strength of an ocean wave and accompanied by a confidence that, on most days, is foreign to me. In the moment of the “yes” I am strong and assured. The moment of the “yes” is an unexpected gift, wrapped with shimmery bravery.

It doesn’t take long, though, before the wave subsides and the beautifully wrapped gift is taken back. The moment of bravery is traded for feelings much more familiar. The confidence that came with that initial “yes” is exchanged for doubt. . .fear. . . a desire to run.

Starting a family. . . YES. . . quickly the “what if’s” begin.
Sharing my story. . . YES. . . soon the “I can’t believe I did that” start.
Leaving my career to start my own business. . . YES. . . constantly the doubts haunt me.
Hitting PUBLISH on that post. . . YES. . . apprehension settles in.
Getting on a plane to travel to that class. . . YES . . .the excuses to cancel begin to compile.
Sending that email. . . YES. . . should I have done that?
Reaching out to that person. . . YES. . . how will they react?

I could fill several notebooks with the decisions I’ve made that came in a moment of a brave YES, only to be followed up with fear, anxiety, and doubt. I might even venture to say that nearly every decision, outside of saying a big bold YES to Chad when he asked me to do life with him, was followed up with apprehension and a strong desire to run.

On most days, though, I chose not to run. On most days, that initial YES is the glue that holds me to the course. Time and a few years under my belt has taught me to trust the initial YES.  The initial YES was far more important that the haunting chatter that follows.  The initial YES was more more true than every excuse that followed.

I’m learning that, for me, my YES’s will almost always be stalked by a million No’s. While I may never be able to stop those no’s, I can quiet my soul and find tiny remnants of the initial YES and leap into the dark unknown ahead of me. In my quiet moments, I know that I can trust the process. In my quiet moments I understand that even a wrong YES, might lead to the right one. In my quiet moments, I understand that the unknown is okay, even vital, to moving forward.

Here’s to leaping.  To the Initial Bold ‘Yes”.  And to the thousands of quiet, apprehensive yes’s that keep us moving forward.

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