It’s women’s gymnastics time again! It is my favorite Olympic event, of all time, period. I feel the adrenaline as I watch them. Those young women perform skills so hard they shouldn’t be possible! They work years to develop their ability–and they make it look easy!
Consider the balance beam: the commentator says the gymnast’s boldness is the difference between winning and losing.
The more she attacks and goes for each skill, the less likely she is to fall off the beam.
A missed trick could literally break her neck, leave her paralyzed. But she cannot hesitate. No second-guessing. No thinking! Straightup attack. Go for it!
Counterintuitive, isn’t it?
Honestly, we live the opposite. The more that’s at risk, the more we hesitate. The scarier the endeavor, the more we weigh our options. The higher the stakes, the more we pause to analyze.
What ridiculously impossible challenges would give way if we attacked our lives the way these gymnasts—or other Olympic athletes—attack their sport? What would happen if we just go for it?
I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, from Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I recently spoke to a young gay man whose parents are crazy-legalistic. His parents don’t plan on his leaving home until he marries. A woman. Uh, that’s not in his future. How can he balance his life, and face the homophobic teaching he’s been subjected to, unless he attacks it with strength and power? He’s worried about upsetting his mother, and he will have a hard time being fearless.
Every day, I interact with parents trying to balance their church’s approval with embracing their child. That hesitation can knock them off their game–and be deadly to their precious child.
Not every idea is a good one, of course. Ideas–like deciding to change your child, or employ “tough love” (and by tough love I mean bullying and ultimately abandonment)–have proven to be an epic fail and should be rejected for good.
But when we find our groove, a groove that produces life–as unconditional love does–what if we went for it full-force? What if those of us who are loving well–without condition, without hesitation–really knew that failure in love is not an option?
How would people around us, in our family, change if they knew we loved them unconditionally?
How would we change if we knew we were unconditionally loved?
People need to be loved. LGBTQ people. Parents caught in a tough place. People of color. Old people. Young people. A word of hope or encouragement. When the time comes to love, in action, we cannot hesitate or we stand to fall. Hard.
Love never fails. Love grows more mature over time. Love as it steeps brings out its full intensity.
Whole vistas are opening in front of us, new chapters are just ahead.
Are we ready to boldly go for it?
We have programs for parents of LGBTQ children, helping free hearts to unconditionally love, accept and affirm. Private support groups, books, resources and a new FreedHearts Online comprehensive video course. If you would like more information, please click here.