I’ve been trying to figure things out recently. Things such as who I am becoming and what I want my life to look like and what form my work should take now. You know, big things. Things that take time to figure out.
But there is a very impatient task master inside me, arms crossed over her chest and one foot tapping quickly and incessantly, urging me to figure it out already and get moving! “Good God! “she says with an exasperated sigh. “Haven’t we wasted enough time?”
I consider her question. Have I been wasting time?
I don’t think I have. I’ve consciously given myself time this year, after the passing of my father, to allow deep feelings to emerge and be felt. I’ve given myself time to sit in the emptiness of profound loss without pushing myself to do things just for the sake of doing them. I’ve given myself time to read and pray and meditate. I’ve given myself time to rest and dream.
I even gave myself time for a spiritual sojourn to Egypt. I chanted in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid and meditated deeply at the sacred temples of Osiris and Hathor. I sailed on the Nile and received a spontaneous healing at the temple of Isis. I walked in the footsteps of initiates into the sacred Mystery Schools of ancient times. And I’ve only just begun to unpack the profound gifts of transformation I received during that time.
I came back not knowing exactly why I felt I had to go, and I’ve given myself full permission to not know, trusting in the rhythm of Life to bring to me the realizations and opportunities that will move me forward.
And like the first fireflies of early summer, sparks of insight have begun to glow in my field of awareness – just one or two here and there, then a few more. I welcome them with gratitude, even though I’m not yet sure how they will be expressed in my work or in my life.
This drives the task master more than a little crazy. She wants to understand it all, NOW! She wants to know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. After all, we’re not getting any younger, you know!
She is such a killjoy.
Still, she seems to have a point. How much time is enough time? How long can I hang out in the unknown, waiting for inspiration? When does “giving myself space” become procrastination?
Her point of view starts to color my own, seeping insidiously into my consciousness and showing up as little barbs of self-recrimination throughout the day. “You should be working on your new website copy” … “Are you ever going to write that book?” …”Shouldn’t you be putting out a newsletter?” …”Are you really going to watch another episode of Star Trek Voyager? Couldn’t you be doing something productive with this time?”
The precious time I’ve given myself for renewal begins to feel more like a betrayal than a gift. When I make a choice to rest, to pray, to read, to meditate, to take walks in nature or to write in my journal, the self-judging thoughts harass me. Guilt begins to rear its ugly head.
I start demanding of my Large Self that she give me clear guidance. I wait about, oh, ten whole minutes and get frustrated that she’s not responding. Of course I know enough to know that divine guidance can’t be heard or felt when we’re frustrated and so I do my best to calm down…yet she is there still, in the background – the impatient one with the crossed arms.
Blessedly, though, she’s not the only one who is there. I can still sense the inner Wise One, reminding me gently to look through eyes of love at my life. She nudges me to recognize that those seemingly little sparks of insight – those precious fireflies – ARE my guidance. She reminds me that this is how guidance works: it lights up one step or even one breath at a time, and as we take that step or breath – in faith – Grace steps in and moves with us and through us, carrying us to the next step.
I page through my journals and note that, at each juncture of intense frustration or impatience in my life, when I had the presence of mind to “give the pen” to my inner Wise One her counsel was always the same:
When you feel most challenged or frustrated or afraid, that is the time to trust more, not less. Trust more, not less.
Trust more in the times you absolutely knew that Life is innately good. Trust more in the sparks of insight you have had. Trust more in your intuition. Trust more that you are loved and that Love wants to thrive through you, as you. Trust more in what you know in your heart of hearts and less in what your impatience or frustration is telling you. Trust more that you are right where you need to be and that, as resistance is released, the next step is always revealed.
And understand that the impatient one inside IS the resistance that needs to be released. She’s the one slowing things down, not you.
About two weeks ago, as I was relaxing into these precious reminders from the inner Wise One, I had a dream. In the dream I was literally chasing after someone I wanted very much to be with. But I couldn’t keep up with him and I kept losing him in the crowd. At the end of the dream I discovered that he’d been busily planning a surprise party for me, complete with dear friends and my favorite cake, a long tapered candle rising elegantly from its center. His face was glowing with love as he welcomed me to this special celebration of my life. The feelings of joy and gratitude I experienced in that moment were indescribable, yet potently real.
It was one of those dreams that, upon awakening, I knew immediately was a dream with an important message, not just for me but for all of us. And the message was crystal-clear:
Your Right Life wants you as much as you want it. You don’t need to chase it down. Your Right Life already has things in the works to surprise and delight you. You need only listen to your own wise counsel, take the step in front of you to take – and be open to receive.
As I wrote about the dream and its message in my journal, I saw that it gave me a nuanced perspective on Trust. It was a reminder that we are loved and we are wanted – not in a needy, desperate way, but in a healthy and joyous way. There are countless people and situations that are eager for the gifts we naturally want to give. We don’t need to plot and plan and strategize ways to “get” them. They are all around us.
Our Life purpose isn’t something to be figured out mentally. It is a Presence that enlivens us and nudges us forward, one step at a time, as our awareness gently expands to perceive the glorious tapestry we are weaving with each step we take.
You are wanted. Love wants to live through you, as you. Just say Yes.