Part of the fun of being in the dish-pit in the dining hall at camp is the question game. And this past week the question that really made me ponder was, “What is something you’ve done recently that was a first time?”
Easy enough question, yet it really caused me to ruminate. The reality…I was unable to answer! I am doing a lot of things I love, have no shortage of adventures, but recent first time experiences – clearly not so much.
The great irony is that the question was being posed at camp. My own life journey is filled with countless ‘firsts’ that happened at camp: sleeping on a lake, going water skiing, learning how to dance, learning how to lead large and small groups, and so many other firsts.
‘Firsts’ are actually a big part of what makes camp so incredible. By great intention, healthy camps create a safe space where individuals are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and take risks. Without the fear of judgement or ridicule, and lots of invitation and encouragement, folks feel free to try things they otherwise would not.
Stepping on a dance floor or standing up on a water ski for the first time are great accomplishments. Yet in my experience, the greatest ‘first’ is the willingness to try to just be yourself – no inhibition, no mask – just exploring what it is to be comfortable with who you are.
Clearly I need to up my ‘first game’. And while I’m at it, I’m also going to spend some time reflecting on if I am truly fully living into the true authentic self that I am created to be.
“I will not die an unlived life, I will not go in fear Of falling or catching fire, I choose to inhabit my days To allow my living to open to me, To make me less afraid, More accessible, To loosen my heart Until it becomes my wing, A torch, a promise, I choose to risk my significance: To live. So that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, And that which comes to me as blossom, Goes on as fruit.” – Dawna Markov