your only job in this world is this…

on living your life and doing the one thing you’re here to do

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

The Journey by Mary Oliver (in parts)

One day you finally knew

What you had to do, and began…

Though the voices around you

Kept shouting

Their bad advice —

Though the whole house

Began to tremble

And you felt the old tug

At your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

In the mornings I exercise. I do it early because my soul is cramped. While I sleep the voices of others creep back into my mind and when I wake I hear them — each with their doubts and their fears so strong I believe them to be mine.

I get on my trampoline and jump to shake loose these ancient, desperate, clinging thoughts that leave me too small to do my work, too scared to be myself.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

Though the wind pried

With its stiff fingers

At the very foundations,

Though the melancholy

Was terrible.

While I jump I listen to something that reminds me who I am and what I can be.

Lately I’ve been listening to the Reverend Michael Beckwith of Agape. He preaches to me from that big, brown stage in his fine linen suits with his booming voice. Insisting that we are part of the infinite and that the infinite is love, abundance, and joy. Fear and doubt belong to the ego and we are so much bigger than the ego.

He reminds us to come back to what is true.

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov

It was already late

Enough, and a wild night,

And the road full of fallen

Branches and stones.

But little by little,

As you left their voices behind,

The stars began to burn

Though the sheets of clouds,

Everyone has an opinion about how your life should be lived: what you should do and what you shouldn’t, what is good for you and what is bad, what are right choices and what are wrong ones.

Everyone will try to save your life but no one else understands what that means.

And there was a new voice

Which you slowly

Recognized as your own,

That kept you company

As you strode deeper and deeper

Into the world,

Photo by Cassie Boca

No one but you knows what it means to live your life. No one knows what stirs your soul, makes your heart quicken, and your eyes water with recognition. No one knows why you cry or why you laugh.

No one knows you like you.

And in that knowing only you can do what you are here to do.

Determined to do

The only thing you could do —

Determined to save

The only life you could save.

And so I say this with the utmost respect: screw other people’s opinions. Screw other people’s ideas of what a saved, successful, life looks like.

It’s not up to them.

Freedom is not up to them. Salvation is not theirs to bestow.

That is yours.

Yours alone.

Go save your life.

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