We are given chances every day to make things different, but never take them. We are shown which way to go, but instead head off in another direction. We are extended an invitation, but throw it away.
I am here to tell you… accept the invitation.
Accepting the invitation frightens most people. In the beginning, it took me out of my comfort zone too. But in order for us to grow to be better, we have to leave the way things were in the past and be ready for the way things could be. Fear stops so many people from doing things they never dreamed of doing, and I wish I could find a way to turn that fear into excitement. Fear begets fear. It can become larger due to worry, imagination, and lack of control. We like to be in control, especially when it comes to driving. Can you imagine not putting your hands on the steering wheel to drive? Do you remember, “I, Robot” with Will Smith where his voice activated the car and drove for him? There would be less speeding, less running of red lights, and fewer accidents. It could save lives and money. In fact, General Motors has announced to bring “hands-free driving” to a few of their models in 2016. But would our fear of not driving be replaced with another task that still needs attention? Maybe having my car drive for me would not be a good thing. How many of us have witnesses people trying to do more than one thing at a time? We are guilty of this from time to time.
People are in a hurry to get from one event to the next (guilty), barely keeping up with the fast pace of life they in fact created. And what do we want most? A way out. A way to escape what we have built ourselves. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. The constant craving for more and immediate in everything we do keeps us in a perpetual wave of superficial discontent and unhappiness. We feel like there is no other choice. So we stay where we are. Even when the fleeting moments catch us off guard, we take just a second to recognize them and stock them away to pull out later. But later never comes. We have become complacent and robotic at times, when every day is just like every other day. We forget to even notice the things that dramatically harnessed our attention just a few days before.
Feeling a little bit uneasy, are you?
Can you feel that? Are you missing something? A bit lost, are you? What have you done to get your where you are right now? Looking back, was there a “pull” or a slight nudge in a particular direction that you fought against and like the tide pulling you out to sea, you dug your feet into the sand, so as not to move? You probably know exactly when it was, who was with you, and those feelings of having left something undone resurface as quickly as a fighter jet breaking the sound barrier. And when you go back to that moment, you stop dead in your tracks. You are transported back and watch from a distance and grasp the full concept of the opportunity you missed. It will hit you like a ton of bricks. And then we begin to understand how fear derailed the challenge offered just to you. How you made excuses about the timing of it, and secretly just wanted it to go away. I get it. You cringe as this feeling never seems to go away completely. It is like an old sports injury that flares up every once in a while, and it is never at the best time. You talk yourself out of needing to doing anything different in your life just for something your gut is telling you to do. Telling yourself, “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me”, “But, I don’t even know where to start”, and “Someone else will do it” become your mottoes and you justify your lack of action, if even just to yourself. Yet something wont let you be. Whatever this is, it is YOURS. No one else can pick up where you left off, because you never left off. You discarded this summons to your soul and threw it away, as it if didn’t matter.
“IF THERE’S A BOOK THAT YOU WANT TO READ, BUT IT HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET, THEN YOU MUST WRITE IT.”
– Toni Morrison
Stop wishing this to go away. It will never leave you. It presents itself in a simple, matter-of-fact, way carried over normal conversation, every day occurrences, and only we can decide what to do next. It is as if someone is presenting you with a gift and you have to decide if you should take it or not. You don’t know what the gift has in store for you, you just feel drawn to it for some reason. We never know why…
Searching for the answers that will make things make sense will leave you battered and exhausted. You have to stop fighting it. This is your moment. The reason you are here and as you stand at the edge, trying to decide what to do next, everything races through your body. You feel afraid yet excited. You feel out of control yet free. You feel unsure yet still know your decision. If you have gotten to this point — when you just haven’t blown right past it — then you are paying attention. It has a hold of you and it won’t let go. You have seen what it can be like and you ache for that once again.
I believe that we all have a purpose. Some people ignore it completely and die never knowing what their purpose was. We all are given a certain set of cards that play out in our lives. Some are really great and capture memories that bring us joy, remind us of laughter, and fill us with love. Other cards are ones we wish we never had to experience. They are covered in hate, cruelty, and disgust. The majority of our cards are somewhere it between, and the one that has our purpose on it, can fall through the cracks. But it is never lost. It lives in a place so secret we wouldn’t know how to travel there if we tried. But if we silence our hearts and just listen, it will come again. It will follow you everywhere you go, hoping that you will see it for all it is. Your invitation has been extended more than once. It has been offered itself up to you. And only you.
I have recollected moments when only in looking back did I realize that what I loved to do — what was so effortless for me — was where I felt most at ease. Only in knowing what to look for did I see what I my invitation looked like and how I would go ahead in the future. And once I allowed myself to receive this invitation, did I finally become whole….when I finally saw what I had ignored for most of my life. Giving myself permission to ask questions and finding the courage to answer them honestly put me on a path I never knew I was destined to take. I met people who changed my life forever, didn’t let fear dictate what I couldn’t do, and completely altered my thinking. After the questions subsided, I began to fully embrace life with open arms. I now understood what it meant to be alive.
Each calling does not just pick someone, hoping to get the first taker. No, this calling is special. It is something we have from our very first breath. It has guided us and created who we are for so many years. It has tip-toed around you, showing you glimpses of itself, hoping you were paying attention. But it never forgets where it belongs. It is always with you, no matter how hard you try to get past it, work around it, or forget it. Have you picked up your invitation yet? You need not RSVP as you will no longer feel an ache or that a piece of you is missing. Instead, you will know that you have arrived at your own party!
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©