"It'll be OK". "Everything will work out for the best." "You'll be just fine." How often do we quickly utter these words to comfort ourselves or someone else? How do we really know it'll be ok? Are we (at least on some subconscious level) simply reassuring ourselves that whatever happens won't break us?

Now I know that is a tough paragraph to grasp, so feel free to read it over a few times out loud. Do we ever really know anything? Can we be sure? I know for me indecision and being stuck is often the result of fear. Fear of the unknown. "What if?" And as any good therapist will tell you, you could "what if" yourself to death and never do a blessed thing with your life because you're too afraid and panic stricken to act.

What got me thinking about this topic once again was the death of the beloved character Dana Fairbanks on the L Word. Yes, I know it is just a television show, and no one need remind me that at the end of the day the actress got up, went home, and moved on with her career. However, if art imitates life and a drama is meant to affect you as it tells real-life stories in its own unique way, why shouldn't I be affected by it? Isn't that a measure of success in the creative medium - the emotional impact it has on people?

For those of you not familiar with the story, Dana was a super-healthy, professional athlete who finds a lump in her breast, undergoes a mastectomy, and goes through chemotherapy. While she appears to be recovering (and all odds say she should recover fully), her chemo-weakened immune system succumbs to an infection and she dies at the ripe young age of 32 a few weeks after her surgery.

What continues to strike me about this story, beyond the obvious, was the dialogue along the way between her and those who loved her. Whether it is her lover telling her "it'll be ok" or good friends saying "she'll be fine" or even the character herself making plans for her comeback, it begged the question in my mind as they said it - how do you know that?? Lest you think I am a hopeless pessimist, keep in mind I spent most of my life and upbringing partaking in left-brain pursuits. Everything follows logic, formulas, and expected outcomes. As I've come to learn over the years, real life surely throws rain on that expectation parade. So, I'm not pessimistic, only overly analytical!

This left me with the stunning conclusion - no one really knows! That's right, not me, not you, and not the person sitting next to you. We just don't know for sure what any outcome will be or even if we'll be alive tomorrow. In Raphael Cushnir's book Setting Your Heart on Fire: The Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life, he incites us to "Live Like You're Dying". He challenges the reader to be conscious of the fact that death may be around the corner and make peace with it. Who knows, maybe today is your day. In a carpe diem sort of way he invites us to use this knowledge to free us from the doubt, fear, and distraction that keeps most of us from living each day fully.

It Is All OK

I think the biggest lesson in all this is - whatever happens is OK. Even the things that don't seem are simply part of life's experiences OK (let's face it, who wants a loved one to be ill or die). Sometimes life's experiences are grand, sometimes tragic, and oftentimes somewhere in between. We experience them, and then move through them in whatever way we need to. It is only when we let fear of the unknown paralyze us that it is really not ok.

Don't Wait

Someday is not a day on the calendar. So, for all those things you say you'll do "someday", start penciling them in. Don't wait until it is too late to do what you say you want to do. Start with the following exercise:

-- Make a list of 100 things you most want to do in your lifetime
-- Write down the names of all the people you love and care deeply about

Starting today, tell each of those people you love them. Call them up, write a letter, or drop by, but simply tell them how you feel. Don't assume they already know. Even if they do know, it is always nice to hear! You never know when the day will come that you won't have that opportunity, so seize it.

Then, read through your list of 100 things you want to do and start doing some of them. Start planning the big ones. Throw caution to the wind and do some of the less-involved ones right away. The only way they will ever become reality is if you make them a priority and just do it.


Copyright 2006, The Paula G Company

Author's Bio: 

Paula Gregorowicz and The Paula G Company specialize in helping stressed out and overwhelmed women business owners achieve more success without all the burnout and compromise. To learn more visit her website at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com