Trying to figure out your path in life is anything but straightforward and easy.
In childhood we all absorbed stories that promised shiny paths in adulthood, in the form of a perfect job, life partner, or future opportunity where we finally arrive and get to live happily ever after. It seemed simple enough. And now we live in a world where you're more likely to change course multiple times throughout your life, throwing you into transition again and again.
There are certain key moments along the way where it's painfully obvious something important is missing from your life.
For example, soon after becoming a mother I noticed a distinct lack of soul in the corporate life I’d lived and breathed for 15 years, with too much focus on the money and too little on the people. I longed for a path with soul and so, with that realisation, my search began.
The more I searched, the greater the yearning to find my path became. And many times over the years, the yearning has morphed into frustration and confusion as each obstacle I've faced has brought me closer to understanding myself but not close enough to what I perceived my path to be.
Perhaps you can relate to this.
If you’re experiencing angst on the search, you may be holding onto a fixed idea of what the path should look like and how you might shapeshift to fit that ideal. I know this contradicts everything you’ve been taught: that to be successful you have to make things happen.
But control strategies won't work here, largely because when you start searching for the missing piece in your life, you are in effect summoning your soul. Which is ultimately an inner journey. The search is pulling you to find out and accept who you are so that you can show up more authentically in the world. I like to think of it as prepping you for what's to come.
For your life is your path. It seems paradoxical, that there's no separate path to find other than the one you are on. As you continue to evolve, so does your path. It’s not a neatly packaged, ready to step into, kind of deal. It’s not any one role, job or identity. It's definitely not a more perfect shiny version of you. It’s the whole cumulative experience of your life unfolding in relationship to others; in relationship to the world.
A path is like a coin: the shiny side takes you on an external search for what to do, whilst the under side compels you to search inside yourself to recognise how you are being in the world, i.e. where you most resist your experience; where your fears, insecurities, self-aversion, self-doubt and self-judgment seriously hold you back from showing up.
If you simply let go of all of the ideas you have of what your life should be like and focused your precious attention on accepting what is, one day you'll realise just how useful all of your experiences have been. The angst, the joy, the boredom, the yearnings, the discoveries, the confusion, the transitions, the grief, the letting go, the action and the unexpected gifts.
In terms of what you are here to do, what you’re learning about yourself now is equipping you in ways you cannot fathom for what’s to come. Nothing's ever wasted.
In searching for what you’re here to do, you end up finding out who you are. When you accept and own who you are, you end up doing what you’re here to do.
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