Life brings us to tensions. Tensions are a gift to be embraced, not a curse to be avoided. It is in tension, in liminal space, in the waiting and discerning and weighing that we are often most stretched and developed. Recently I heard Brenè Brown talk about how vulnerable it is to try new things. She used intersections as a metaphor for where we often find ourselves.
Intersections. Like where one road crosses with another and we are left needing to decide which way to go. Intersections are a great way to frame many of our moments of tension and need for direction in our lives. Here are few intersections you may relate to.
Trying new things: The intersection of fear and excitement. Too much excitement and no calculation of the cost can make us reckless leave us lost. Fear is there as a gift to help us stay grounded and not get too carried away so we can find our way. But too much fear and we rob ourselves of the joy and momentum we need for full and abundant life. Experience the intersection. Then make a move.
Making big decisions: The intersection of thoughtful and decisive. If you are too decisive you make bad decisions and if you are too thoughtful you make no decisions. We must find the intersection of the two, name the tension and then start moving, carrying a bit of both with us. Experience the intersection. Then make a move.
Living authentically: The intersection of freedom and wisdom. We all want to live truly and freely, but letting everything out, offering too many people too much can cause more damage than healing. But giving “wisdom” too much power over how you share yourself with others can be a cop out we hide behind when we are afraid to be brave. Experience the intersection. Then make a move.
If we come to an intersection and freeze, we go nowhere. We don’t arrive. To those we left and to those we are headed, we are considered “lost”. The invitation in this paradigm is to learn to recognize when we are at an intersection. Name the cross streets. Study the map. Embrace the moment of intersection. And then move ahead with courage and hope! Intersection are meant to be passed through, not parked at. Actually, it can be dangerous to sit in the middle of an intersection.