These have been a brutal few months, I can’t lie. I’ve taken a bunch of hits, some I expected and some I did not. Not one area of my life has been spared. Relationships, finances, health – I’ve faced loss and/or drastic change almost every single week without any real respite. Every time I righted myself something else pulled another rug out from under me, which turned me into a neurotic, depressed, insecure mess.
But I finally had an epiphany the other day that kind of put things in perspective. All this stuff has a purpose. Life isn’t just kicking me around just because it can… I’m being positioned away from some things so that I can be pointed toward BETTER things.
My life was okay before, but it wasn’t the life I wanted for myself or thought deep down I could get for myself. This left me unsatisfied. This was what prompted me to move to Los Angeles to take the next natural step in my career and try to make something of myself. I knew beforehand it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew down deep in my soul I’d regret it if I never gave it a real shot.
But with this comes some very scary change. Before I could treat a lot of things I loved to do like hobbies. If I wrote a book or a screenplay it was because my muse struck and I had a story to tell. It was a playground – a place I could creatively wallow around and call the shots without any pressure.
I had total control.
There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to surrender that control, but there’s no getting around it if I really want to make this thing happen.
In moving out here I’ve been reminded in many ways and in many areas of my life I don’t have total control. None of us do. We think we do. We operate under the illusion we do. But essentially we are at the mercy of circumstance. We can save our money, work hard all our lives, eat healthy, build a foundation and STILL be struck by lightning with unexpected illness or catastrophe.
We make our plans and work like faithful little ants building our homes and colonies but in the end you can’t predict the future. Things are going to happen. People will die. Jobs will end. Relationships will falter.
In the end the only thing we ever can control is how we react to the capricious, unforgiving nature of life.
My problem? I’ve been fighting to keep control over that force of change. I’ve been hanging onto my comfort zone while carefully dipping a toe in the water to see if it’s safe to jump in. As if I still have a choice in the matter, to walk away if it is too scary or hard.
So God (life, the universe, et al) decided to intervene and untangle my death grip on the cocoon I have been steadily outgrowing. This first started with the mundane, ordinary life I had in Texas. Now it has affected some of my training wheels in my writing career.
To move forward I have to make some sacrifices; I have to stick my neck further out there and risk falling on my face, which is becoming more and more a tangible concern. It’s no longer hanging around out there in the inevitable – it’s looming like a virtual certainty.
And the more the little doors slam shut in my face the more courage it’s going to take to knock on a bigger one.
But here’s the kicker… all that are left are the bigger ones.
Which brings us back to the lesson of 2012 (so far:) You can’t chase after the life you want until you let go of the life you have. It’s all about surrendering, not just control over what you have but also control over what you want.
It’s time to “Let go and let God,” as they say.
What I want is bigger than what I am. Instead of fighting against the winds of fate to take it by force, I need to accept the wind and I are one in the same and let it guide me where I want to go. Only when we surrender ourselves to the unknown is when we go *beyond* our dreams.
So I’ll keep doing what I can in the realm of the possible. Everything else… I’m surrendering that control back to God. (Call it what you will… to me it will always be God.)
It’s a symbolic gesture at best because I realize I never had it anyway. But what I DO have is everything I need to make it through these trials.
That means I already have everything I need to claim and own the triumph.
So I’ll take the hits. And every time I rise I’ll know just how strong I am.
For anyone who needs to see/hear it: