Updated: Nov 19, 2019
So this week I've been reading the book "Dare To Lead" by Brenè Brown.
Most of you will know who she is - a research professor at the university of Houston with a focus on shame and how it effects our lives, and an expert in shame and the saving grace of vulnerability.
As I was reading her book I came across a paragraph that just stopped me in my tracks!
It just expressed my own feelings so perfectly and I knew I had to share it with you all!
Here it is:
"What if feels like when I'm living into my values: How I think about this question has changed over the years. I use to believe that we would always know we're in our values when the decision comes easily. But I've learned that it's actually the opposite: I know I'm in my values when a decision is somewhere between tough and really tough. I wish doing the right thing was the easy thing, but it rarely is. I no longer expect wonderful moments. Instead, I look for quiet moments when I feel strong and solid. And, usually, tired! To quote Leonard Cohn, as I often do about the tough arena moments, "Love is not a victory march. It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah" - Brenè Brown
I can not tell you how true this has been in my life!
So often people expect "enlightenment", awareness and being a light in this world to be easy, because after all, you are doing the "right thing."
People expect the journey to feel peaceful and effortless.
But nothing could be farther from reality.
After all what is a light for, if not to be used in the darkness?
I recently had someone describe it to me like this:
"I thought enlightenment would be yoga poses and meditation on the beach, but it's actually hiding in your room silently screaming because you think you're going crazy."
And it just made me laugh, because that about describes it!
This path that we are all on of learning, growing, trying to be a beneficial presence in the world by living on purpose with our values, it is not the easiest path.
Staying "asleep" and unaware is a much easier way to live.
One of the main reasons it's so difficult is because you're learning a new way of measuring and the new way is counter cultural - that's where the crazy come from.
We see everyone walking down a path and for some reason we intuitively know it's the wrong path for us. Yet the pressure to switch paths is so enormous and the new path is so full of doubt and second guessing.
But you've heard the call, haven't you?
The call that doesn't allow you to stay "sleeping?"
That makes it so impossible to stay unaware and to just live the way our culture demands us to live.
So why do we do it?
Why do we choose to answer this call?
Why do we choose a different path when it means we have to leave behind comfort, security, and sometimes companionship?
With all the painful soul searching we have to do, with all the hard decisions, with all the wrestling with the tension, why don't we just give in?
Well, I can't answer that for you friend, but I know what it is for me.
Walking the counter cultural path is the only way I feel alive and authentic.
It's the only way I feel connected to something beautiful, something pure and sacred.
This counter cultural path helps me to see things I would have never seen before, to become aware of beauty that would have otherwise remained hidden, and to connect with others in a way that removes the superficial, and puts us together heart to heart.
Doing anything else would feel like a death, and I know all to well the pain I was in when I travelled the "normal" path,
So how about you?
Why are you on this path?
What has called you here, and why do you keep going?
And know that you are not as alone as you might feel.
There are more of us out here then you know.
More of us that say the important things are the things happening in our hearts - not the things that we own or the bodies that we have.
More of us that say the important things are in the relationships we have - not the trips we take or the accomplishments we achieve.
More of us that want to do something valuable with our lives - not just living for ourselves but living to contribute to others.
So when you sing that cold and broken hallelujah, know that there are many of who sing with you.