Like many women over 60, I have had my share of disappointments and other painful experiences. I’ve been robbed, had my heart broken, lost friends to cancer and experienced discrimination. I’m sure that almost everyone reading this could say the same.

I don’t say this out of any sense of self-pity. Like most older women, I’m practical enough to realize that these experiences are just a part of life. I mention them here because I’ve noticed that many people fail to realize how many walls they have set up to protect themselves until it is too late.

Chuck Palahniuk once said, “The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” This is how we live as children. We explore without fear for the consequences of our actions. As teenagers, we love recklessly and dance freely. Whether we realize it or not, we risk being cut open in order to find happiness.

 
 

By the time we reach our 60s, many of us have become too aware of the pain in the world. Even worse, we have learned how to protect ourselves – at the expense of our happiness.

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” - Chuck Palahniuk

I’ll be the first to admit that I fall into this category. I also realize that the only way for me to find true happiness is for me to risk getting hurt.

So, I force myself to meet new people, even though I am naturally shy. I ask my family to hold me accountable for setting big goals. I make myself risk getting cut open – and, in doing so, I open my heart to the world. Will you join me?

Do you agree that getting the most from life requires us to risk getting hurt from time to time? What are you afraid of doing that you know would be good for your health, happiness or financial security? Please join the discussion.

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