I’m in a pause in life that can best be described as The Great Disappointment.
As an avid movie watcher it makes me think of a struggling character, crossing a vast desert, cresting the final hill, hearing the sound of water (and ahhh…they can almost taste it on their tongue!) to only discover more barren land.
We all feel for them in that moment. And we all think the same thing: Now what? What will they do?
When faced with disappointment, the great nothing, human nature kicks into gear.
What to do? What to do??
My mind pushes back against current circumstances stating my intention to rebel. I refuse to stay stuck in the desert.
I like to stay busy. I like back up plans. I like to invent schemes and devise ways out of inconvenient situations. I don’t realize these things have become defense mechanisms. They are mirages tricking me into thinking I’m doing something when in reality, I’m still doing nothing.
We all have these defense mechanisms. We keep busy, move onto something else (or someone else) and exhaust all our options.
We praise this determination in society. Never give up! Make it happen! Hustle!
I wonder…when does the hustle become something forced? Is there a time to pause? What if we can’t change our circumstances? What then?
Now we are just stuck in the damn desert. In the invisible place. The nothing.
We’ve been sold a lie that the magic is somewhere else. On the horizon, the next stop in life, the place we’ve never quite made it to, where all the rich and successful people live, etc, etc, etc.
It’s a lie.
The magic is here. Now. Inside us.
It’s in every movie and every story. If only we paid better attention.
Consider Cinderella. If we were to step out of the desert and into this classic fairy tale we would see her situation was the same. She was stuck too.
Cinderella scrubbed endless filthy floors and always had an exhaustive chore list waiting. She was in the mother of all wastelands, a slave to a cruel taskmaster.
In reality though, Cinderella wasn’t waiting to be rescued. She was already happy. She was so happy it was contagious. Birds sang along and innocent creatures trusted her implicitly.
Furthermore, she was stunning. She was a light glowing in a miserable place.
The prince never rescued Cinderella. He was simply captivated by her. It was her light that drew him in, compelling the prince to hunt everywhere just so he could experience her magic again.
So how much do circumstances matter?
If we burns bright enough, fierce enough, perhaps it will not matter where we are.
Pages will turn. Princes will arrive. The ocean will manifest. Life will happen.
We don’t have to resent the desert or the endless filthy floor. We can embrace it.
Although I am a big believer in working hard and hustling, I also think there is a time to pause.
There is a time for acceptance. There is a reason for the unexceptional pit stop.
If we are paying attention we will see it is an invitation from God (or the universe) to make it exceptional, just by being who we are.
That’s my plan as I look around and realize my proverbial ocean is nowhere to be found.
I’m closing my eyes and letting a secret smile slip across my face. I’m probably not going to bust out in song and frolic with birds but if it gets cold tonight, when the sun goes down, I’ll light my fire.
Photo Credit: www.1x.com