Updated: Jan 3
The “all or nothing” idea came to the surface of my conscience when I heard this quote from T.S. Eliot in a recent church conference. It is from a poem Eliot wrote where he said, “Costing not less than everything”. Meaning that the cost should be not less than everything.
What a torture this quote has given me.
I find that I am stuck on this web of thought and that I find myself asking specific questions as to what everything could possibly mean for my life.
You would think the obvious answer would be, “to be all in Kaitlyn, that is what it means.” But is it? Do you feel that even when you subscribe to the “all-in” and “YOLO” mentality that you actually give everything?
I know for myself that I do not. Here are a few of my questions I have:
What creates an all-in life?
Why do I struggle to commit?
Do I know what I want to cost everything?
These three questions are provocative in nature.
What creates an all-in life?
By happenstance, I stumbled upon a TedMED talk that was phenomenally given by Kate Bowler, an author, professor, and mother. As she spoke, I was extremely touched by what she said.
"I am learning to live and to love without counting the costs, without reasons and assurances that nothing will be lost, life will break your heart."
Counting the costs, wondering if it will all work out. If the negative weight of my sins and weakness, my wrong doings and my pain will ever be fully covered by the good and the incredible. This is a question we all have; I think. It is a question that is worth asking, do I count the costs? The bible even shares
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” -Luke 14:28
There is a balance in counting. To understand what it will take to complete and finish something and to also relinquish the idea that opposites cancel out in your life - the horrible and the incredible- is essential to creating an all-in life.
Don’t just take risks, take calculated risk: research and understand why you can and must sometimes take that leap of faith. Why can we not count all of living towards joy?
Are we in the business of completing? Do we commit to doing life to the BEST and FULLEST it can possibly be? Are we dreamers who open our eyes and step into possibility?
The main reason to live an all-in life is precisely this. The best and fullest is possible. Without reservation to embrace a world that is entirely full of possibilities and to ignite a mind that is completely capable of creation.
Do you know what you want to cost everything?
I realized that I am someone who likes to flip-flop and toggle between things. Even writing this blog article my mind is going in countless directions and I have multiple tabs open. I even am writing two other blog posts because my ideas are so big they need to be broken down and published in other places.
And just like that we need to return to the topic.
Do you know what you want, what you really want? Do you know what you would give everything to have?
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46.
Am I willing to sell all I have, forsake limiting beliefs, and even go so far as to redesign my life so that when I have found the pearl of great price, I will give all I am and all I have because it is of that great worth to me? I have found that pearl in my life. I teach other women to fortify their lives to find that pearl for themselves. I want my life to mean "my everything", I want it to cost me nothing less than everything.
I love what Kate Bowler said, “Life will break your heart. And life may take everything you have and everything you hope for...I believe that in the darkness, even there, there will be beauty and there will be love. And every now and again it will feel like more than enough.”
There is beauty and there is love. There is more than you realize and there is enough for everyone. This is what The Art of Womanliness is all about -- cultivating the beauty of every woman and person who decides they are ready to live a truly incredible, all-in life.
Why do I struggle to commit? This is the last question that needs addressing and so I wrote another article about it here.