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Sometimes things in our life will just seem ‘off’.
Maybe there are events happening which are causing us real struggle. Health, relationship, financial issues – they can all take a toll on us and on our ability to live joyfully. Heck, you only need to ingest what’s going on in the world around us – politically, environmentally and socially – to feel weighed down and almost (almost I say) unable to see the way forward.
But there is a way forward. The media might tell us relentlessly that the world is a dark and scary place but in homes, families, friendships and communities around the world people are living their lives, helping others and finding something every day to find joy in.
Quite by chance this morning I came across a journal entry I had written about how I wanted my life to look in a year’s time. I glanced at the date and realized that today was exactly a year on. What a coincidence I thought, but really was it?
You are probably thinking now that I am going to tell you how many of those things I had written about had come true. Or at least how I was making strides towards those outcomes I hold so dear.
Um, no. [And if there was music playing now there would be a little scratch in the record followed by silence].
I had achieved exactly nothing. Admittedly these are big picture goals so I am not saying I have achieved nothing in the year, but actually making any change in my personal circumstance to move me forward, precisely zero! In fact, in some regards I had actually moved backwards.
What the flip (or words to that effect, keeping it PG here) I thought to myself and I have to be honest my eyes filled with tears. I am so intent often on keeping things moving forward that I try to damp down how I am really feeling. But this time I just let the disappointment step into the room and give me a hard time about what a total waste of space I am.
And yet, and yet.
I read the journal entry again. All the things that I wrote then are still true for me, the vision still stands. Maybe it’s just going to take me a little longer. And maybe that’s ok.
I opened a new journal page and started writing about how I exactly feel right now. No suppression, no trying to make things better than they are. As I just let the words flow, with no censorship, some interesting things came up for me.
What I truly feel called to do expressed itself really strongly – and in fact I remembered a time when I was 16 when that calling was evident. It’s not so different to what I am doing now. But it does need some tweaks and it does need a change to how I am living right now in terms of how I spend my time. Is it possible? Yes. Will it need some time for the changes to happen? Yes and no. Yes, things can’t change overnight but no, that doesn’t mean I have to put off what I want to do until those changes are made. I can start right now, in a small way. Committing what time I have to what I want to see in my future.
Maybe when I think about it, that’s all we have. People live their lives regardless as to what is going on in the world, because they have to. They still love their families, friends and pets because they can’t not.
I can’t not do what I feel called to do because it has always been there. Often in hiding, often purposely forgotten, but always there.
Is is the same for you? Is there something that you feel called to do? Is there a change, big or small, that you want to make in your life.
Go ahead and commit whatever time you have to start it today. 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes per day. Use it for you. Whatever else you have going on in your life, work, family, commitments, take that time for you.
Do it because you can’t not.
Do it because however large the problems of the world are, when it comes right down to it we are all a tiny part of the universe and yet our personal worlds are huge to us. Fill your world with what you love and find that spark of joy every day.