There I sat, across the table from my treasured advisor, basking in the joy and relief of having finally articulated my next calling in a way that had no resistance. Perfect alignment. And just as I had always known it would, as soon as I nailed it, I knew exactly what to do next. And (and this is a very, very big and) I was jazzed right down to my toes.

Then, the overwhelming feelings of embarrassment and even shame hit me like a truck. The path behind me was littered (and we’re talkin’ garbage-dump-sized-littered) with false starts, wrong turns, faux declarations, one-time workshops, and just plain bad ideas.

Why would anyone listen to me now? They probably think I’m a wing-nut. It’s like starting all over again. I wanted to hide under a rock.

Then, the strangest thing happened. A warm feeling of pride and satisfaction came over me. Yes, it is true. My path is littered with all that embarrassing stuff. But there is only one way that could possibly be true.

I’ve. been. in. the. ring. I’ve taken risks, been vulnerable, allowed failure, danced with the judges. And I’ve never given up, never stopped serving. Through feelings of despair and discouragement, I kept doing the next thing.

That’s it, isn’t it? We aren’t promised perfect clarity or flawless journeys. But we are promised the opportunity to be in the ring, living fully, connecting deeply, and doing the next thing that calls us – however imperfectly.

And when we do, there comes a time when, in a glorious moment of clarity, we see that everything in our lives – every experience, every failure, every relationship –  has brought us right to this moment in time, answering this call, stepping forward in faith and joy.

I’m there.

So. worth. it. 

*****

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