In the Unlikeliest of Places
That one question stopped me in my tracks. I read and re-read that question so many times it is burned in my mind. There I was bebopping through the book, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I had read that book so many, many times that I have lost count, and yet that sentence, I had somehow missed previously. Or had I? Had I unconsciously skipped over that sentence, that whole paragraph? Was I not ready to read that and take that within myself? Hard to say for sure, but I think the last time I read that section, I wasn’t ready to hear that part. I wasn’t prepared to take that within myself, ask myself the tough question.
What’s the ONE Thing that I can do in my life that would mean the most to me and the world, such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
More simply put, what do I want my life to be about? What is my purpose?
The Inevitable Fear
I was afraid because I didn’t know the answer. Actually, that is a lie. I knew the answer. I was simply afraid to say it. I was afraid to even admit to myself what I have known for my entire life. The answer is so much at the core of my soul that I could not bear to bring it to the light. Not again. I was afraid that I would squash it. Not so much that others would squash that, although that was certainly a factor. At the very core of my anxiety and sadness was m why that I had pushed down. I have pushed that down inside myself deeper and deeper over the span of my life. I was afraid to bring it out again after so much time. I was afraid to see it and, more than anything, to have to do something with it this time.
Now, I am sure you are asking yourself, what do you mean? Why would you need to do anything with that now? You can bring it into the light and not do anything with it, right? Here’s the thing, when we deny ourselves our truth, there is deep unhappiness that permeates our very soul. It can cause us to be ill, to be angry, to be depressed, to drink a lot, to lash out at those closest to us. I believe those issues occur for two reasons. One is when you don’t know your “why” your life has no purpose. The second one is when you do not know your why/purpose, and you either ignore it or push it down inside of yourself.
Either way, not knowing or ignoring your purpose, you are a ship afloat in the vast ocean without direction and, therefore, without navigation. Drifting along pushed only by external factors, the sea or the wind, causes stress. I am ever hopeful that you are not in as dark of a place that I was in before I undertook this journey. If you are, then I do hope that you take some of this advice and take action. Your life and your truth are valuable. Your truth is worth being out in the open for all to see.
Deep breath moment here. Whew. Here it is. I have always wanted to be a writer. I am a good writer. Well, my natural talent is good. Ever since I was a child, I read everything I could get my little hands on. Reading was my escape—a way to live someplace else and have a different reality. As soon as I learned how to write, I was writing. I wanted to create a world to invite people into as others had for me. I submitted my writings for publication, and well, nothing panned out with those. I gave up on it even though I loved it. Instead of persevering and continuing to hone my craft and do the thing I love, I turned my back. I pushed that passion down inside of me. I tried so many different paths to find another passion, another truth. Nothing worked. Nothing fit. In my first blog post, I wrote that I was a multi-dimensional peg trying to fit in a one-dimensional hole. Why? It was not my passion.
I had a passion already, my big why and there wasn’t room for another one. I had to use my passion. I actually had to do something with it this time. Otherwise I will be unhappy for the rest of my life. No more pushing that away. So, I started this blog. I write and I put my writing out into the world. It is not easy. Simple but not easy at all. My writing is a direct window into my soul.
You Can Too
Ask yourself the question from the book The ONE Thing. What’s the ONE thing I can do in my life that would mean the most to me and the world such that by doing it, everything else would be easier or unnecessary? Is it painful to ask that question? Yes? Keeping asking yourself that question. Keep digging. The answer is inside you. Remember, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the right answer. Don’t think about what others would think. It is your life, after all. Remember, the only person you can make happy is you.
What did you find?