“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin

As I watched President Obama give his farewell speech, my heart literally ached.  I began to remember how I came to know him.  Initially I was supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary race, but there was something about her that didn’t capture me.  At the same time, I was a little apprehensive about this “newcomer”.  He intrigued me enough to buy and read his first book, which then lead me to read The Audacity of Hope.  It was a wrap at that point, and I was lost in his optimistic philosophy on the depth of the human spirit and what we are capable of achieving.  From that point, I was in and I invested my financial, emotional, and physical resources into this campaign of hope and change.  As he spoke for the last time as president, so many emotions came flooding down, but the most powerful was gratitude.  I felt gratitude for taking this journey with him (and his family), believing in what was possible, and witnessing his steadfast commitment to the ideals he ran on.  Did he accomplish everything he or we hoped? Of course not, but because of him I still believe that anything is possible.

As I prepare to say goodbye with a very sad heart to this figure that I’ve invested my heart and soul into, I do it with no regrets.  I’ve learned to live my life taking more risks and believing in the best of people as opposed to expecting the worst.  Does that leave me a little more vulnerable to hurt and disappointment…absolutely, but it also gives me a chance to experience life and people in an authentic real way, and that is worth the risk!  As I reflect on the Obama family, and the emotions they must be feeling as they say goodbye to the White House, I can only imagine what their next leg will look like.  I would imagine that the ideals he ran on and lives by have grown deeper, his wisdom has expanded, and his commitment to human kind and what connects us will be even stronger. I am so grateful that I was a small part of these last eight years of history.  Because of him, I have so much hope for what is possible in the world and in my life.  No matter who takes the role of presidency, we won’t let his legacy die.  We will always have the audacity of hope!

My Takeaways:

  • Life is ever changing and so are relationships…even the ones we have with the leaders of the world. I took a risk on believing in the philosophy of hope, and in the end, though not all is perfect, it was well worth it.  I’ve applied this risk taking to my life, and it’s bigger and fuller than I ever expected…The possibility of the unimaginable is worth the risk of a broken heart.
  • Your heart can heal, but a missed opportunity is gone forever…

My Challenge for you:

  • That thing you’ve been contemplating, but have been afraid to act on…Do it! Take at least one risk this first month of 2017.  I promise you no matter how it ends; you will grow and be better for it.
  • Allow yourself to be a little more vulnerable and transparent in at least one of your most valued relationships. Take notes on how the relationship changes and grows through that one very brave step.