I guess it’s time.
I’ve known it for a while, at least on an unconscious level. I’ve resisted it for several reasons, including this one: I’m just plain exhausted from jumping off proverbial cliffs…especially when they land me in places that end up being a struggle, which has been the case more often than not the last few years.
Nevertheless, here I am, preparing for another big leap. After digging in my heels for a couple of years now and resisting what I knew to be true deep in my heart, I finally came a place of surrender (“Uncle, already!”) a couple of weeks ago. I finally accepted what my inner being and the Universe (or my inner being through the Universe) have been trying to tell me for quite a while. Even though I know the big picture of where I’m headed, I haven’t a clue about the steps that will take me there, but I’m letting go of the wheel, so to speak. Kind of scary, but a relief, too.
I’ve spent a lot of energy these few last years trying to will things to happen, to will my path to open, to will my next steps to reveal themselves. However, in moments of calm, I remember—I know—this doesn’t work. The times when my life worked best were the times when I thought about what I wanted, kept my eyes open for opportunities, and then allowed those things to flow my way.
If this all sounds a little “woo-woo” to you, let me assure you that, while the above statement is a bit of an oversimplification, it really does sum up the way my life unfolded once upon a time. It’s not that my life was all rosy and perfect. I had boyfriends who broke up with me and people who disappointed me and the usual challenges that come with being human.
But when it came to my career or purpose or life path, I was pretty much a leaf floating along on a stream. Life carried me forward, and opportunities just came along, without much effort on my part. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because, well…that was just the way things were. I didn’t fret over the future or worry too much about which path to take. I made choices based on what felt right, even if they weren’t necessarily practical, and the vast majority of the time, things worked out fine, sometimes a lot better than fine. I pretty much went with the flow. I trusted this guidance “system” because I didn’t have any reason not to trust it.
Then I got married, and the marriage was complicated and difficult and painful and confusing. Somewhere along the way, my guidance system kind of went haywire (i.e. I stopped listening to it). I lost touch with essential parts of myself, trying to be who and what I thought I needed to be to save my marriage, trying to make sense of things that didn’t make sense. I stopped trusting myself, and I stopped trusting that nebulous force that had once seemed to lay my path before me in an almost uncanny manner.
The path back to that way of living has been long and winding, and while I am aware of being back in that flow more often, sometimes in a big way and even for an extended period of time, it takes work now. I have to consciously remind myself to trust, to not give in to the fear, to know deep down that things will be okay. I still haven’t found my way back to the mostly unconscious following of my bliss that I once knew.
Of course, I’m older now and (ostensibly) “wiser”. I know now that sometimes things can go really wrong, that dreams don’t always come true, that there are losses you never really get over, even if you manage to put on a good face and look okay to others. I also have more “responsibilities” now than I did in my twenties and early thirties, responsibilities that make me think that trusting in this inner guidance system—which sometimes tells me that the next step is to do something that looks pretty wacko to all the “normal” people out there—is, well, crazy.
However, what I’ve realized is that it’s when I’ve chosen not to trust, when I’ve chosen not to follow my inner promptings, that my life has hit big bumps in the road or taken a downward spiral. It’s when I’ve tried to make my life go the way I (or others) think it should go that I get into trouble. That’s what I’ve been doing the last few years, and it hasn’t gone so well.
So I’m stepping back, opening up, and trying to clear my head of all the shoulds. I’m listening for, feeling for, what I want—not in the sense of something tangible, like a person or a place or a thing, but in the sense of “What kind of life do I want to live, who do I want in it, and how do I want to feel as I go through my days?” The decision I came to, the one that’s leading to the upcoming leap, is the first step toward fulfilling those desires. Even though there’s a whole lot of uncertainty wrapped up in the decision, I feel lighter when I think about it, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel good about where I’m headed, even if some of the details are still fuzzy.
I’ll be honest. I still have moments of “Oh, my God, how am I going to do this?” I still have moments of “Geez, I have to do this big leap of faith thing again?” But mostly, when I can shout down the voices of doubt and fear, I feel happy, set free. I don’t know exactly where it’s all going to lead, but I’m excited for the journey. If past leaps are any indication, it should be pretty interesting, and I can’t wait to see what comes my way.