Read this when it feels like nothing better awaits you.
Recently I’ve been hit by the haunting temptation to believe that “nothing is happening, nothing awaits me.” It feels like nothing better is happening. Nothing appears to be in the works. Did the world just suddenly stop being aware of your voice, your gift, your dream? Have you been there? Well, this is a short and open letter to myself –feel free to read over my shoulder.
Comparison is a damn and sly devil.
Seems like the very first thing we humans love to do when confronted with an uncertain future, a closed door, or any other form of Indefinite Pause is to compare. It’s certainly easier than self-examination, and quicker, too. He got this opportunity, she got that promotion, they posted complete crap and still got, like, a million views/likes/clicks/shares. Comparison is a damn and sly devil. It’s sole purpose is to separate, not unify; left unchecked, it will tear you apart, suck your energy, and leave you bitter and breathless. However, comparison is a part of the journey toward wholeness.
No devil is beat without a breakdown. So, what to do?
I want to name it, confess it, so I can drown it.
You will compare, it is inevitable. But the trick is to move from comparison to confession. Pay attention to what is getting stirred up in your soul. Name it. Speak it out loud.
You will find that comparison is fueled by fear. More often than not, that fear is a fear of death: literal or figurative, but death all the same.
For me, I hate thinking that my dreams are going to die, never seeing the light of day; that my children will never see what I imagine my life becoming. That’s a genuine fear: but fear paralyzes! Just as you can’t live in an unending state of comparison, neither can you live in a constant state of confession.
The journey is never advanced by succumbing to fear. Instead, you confess it and thereby draw it out of hiding where you drown it in a sea of truth and hope.
But, it doesn’t do any good to rush it, force it, or half-ass it.
Then what? Once you’ve compared and confessed and had your breakdown, then what? Do you charge ahead with reckless abandon? No, instead, you will rest, and you will work.
The journey is never advanced by succumbing to fear, but it is only made worse by haste.
Perhaps nothing about the circumstance has changed –you don’t have the promotion, your startup didn’t launch, your article isn’t being picked up, and you’re not being invited to give the keynote: but where there once was an abyss, there is now a space; where once you saw uncertainty, you now see hope; where once you felt panicked, you now feel peace. It may look like nothing has changed, but indeed, everything is changed. You are changed. You are free of fear, and that makes all the difference.
So, you will breathe easy, trusting that every day something is happening. Every blog post written in vulnerable humility, every task you complete, every moment is meaningful.
Everything that happens in the present is connected to the future.
There is, therefore, no need to escape the present. Receive the present, surrender to it and as you walk in freedom, you will discover that you’ve been making the future all along.
Every day, even the atoms are gathering like clouds. And, every day is, in reality, a gift.