As promised on Monday, I’m going to share something that I realized while talking to Stephanie, an MML reader, who recently left the job she knew wasn’t her calling in order fulfill her purpose. The only problem is, she doesn’t know what that purpose or next step might be…
As we talked over coffee, it became clear that she was serious about fulfilling her purpose, and equally bewildered as to what that might actually be.
At first, I was perplexed. I meet a lot of people who know what they want to do but haven’t actually designed their life around that intention. In those cases, I try to help them remove the personal barriers blocking their dream. Usually there is some kind of mental obstacle that they feel is compelling them to stay in their dissatisfied situation rather than taking the leap of faith.
In Stephanie’s case however, she jumped in trusting that she was making the right move. But once she made the decision, her purpose didn’t magically materialize. I think that there are many others out there who also, like Stephanie, don’t know what they want to do just yet.
It’s like being in a dark room without a crack of light underneath a door to lead you to the next stage.
Once you see a speck of light, your eyes can adjust to the darkness and guide you to the door and you can walk into the next room pretty easily. But how do you find the doorknob in a pitch black room?
You start feeling around.
Though I’ve mentioned the ego vs. spirit before, I will recap really quickly: I believe we have two voices in our heads, our ego and our spirit/gut/intuition. Both messages are present at all times but we often hear the ego’s rationalizing, fearful, and prideful voice shouting over the spirit’s cool, calm, knowledge and understanding.
When you are in a “dark room” in your life, instead of frantically looking around with your ego’s eyes for a light source, a rationale, a prescribed set of beliefs about your purpose; take a moment to start feeling from your gut. In the dark room, use your your spirit to guide you towards what feels right for your life in the same way that you use your hands to feel for furniture in the darkness.
Start to have faith that your gut will lead you towards the door when the time is right. Start to pay attention to the feelings you get in your stomach which drive you towards some things and away from others. Try to ignore the white noise coming from your ego. You can even do what I do and pray that the white noise is drowned out by the spirit’s voice. (Yep, there is no secret formula, I still struggle with the spirit/ego thing too, I just ask for help to pull the voices apart from one another – and turn up the volume on my spirit so loudly I can’t help but follow it.)
In the darkness, if you learn to identify and follow your spirit with faith and patience, you will be rewarded with the clarity you are looking for when the time is right (which is not necessarily when your ego wants things to happen). And even more importantly, you will have then developed the spirit muscles needed to lead you once you open that door and follow your path to the next stage. Otherwise, it’s too tempting to just let your “ego eyes” do all the work and never really reflect or produce what is truly meaningful for you.
Think of it this way, if we are never forced into a situation that causes us to find a way to deal with uncertainty through faith, we will never develop the skills needed to blaze a trail that is truly our own, truly our destiny.
So please treat this phase of your life reverently, it is going to build you up and take you farther than you ever imagined if you consistently listen, trust, and follow to your spirit.