(Big Heart of Art by qthomasbower on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3470650293/)</p>
Life is a mystery. Who hasn’t heard this before? Who hasn’t experienced life to be at times so perplexing it leaves you breathless, sometimes hopeless and dizzy from all the confusion.
When things do not work out, it seems we have been taught that this IS a part of life, if not life itself. Life is a mystery. You never know what you’re going to get.
For some, it may even be that their lot in life is to merely cope with life not working out on a consistent basis. They have become so adept at dealing with the hardships of life that the luxury of asking themselves: what do I want? what do I love? is just that…a luxury that has yet to be indulged.
Why do we teach so much of dealing with what life hands us as hardships? Because: life is hard and all too often cruel and senseless.
But, what about when things DO work out? I venture to say if all you’ve known is no choices, no time to consider yourself, no guidance in honing in on your deep heart’s cries to express itself uniquely – then when things DO work out can be just as much a mystery as when they do not.
What would you do if you one day awoke to realize you have been given your heart’s desire? What if you had the luxury of time to devote to discovery and strengthening your talents?
I dare say, once you do know what it would mean to you for things to work out – it almost propels you forward towards it.
The hard part is often knowing: what would it look like in my life if “things worked out?” Or, has the hollowness of things not working out created enough of a craving in your soul, that all you think about these days are: What if ?
I don’t mean the What If that leads to the spiral of despair and worry – but the What If that lifts your heart, lightens your eyes, stirs that place in you that is creative and fully alive.
I’ll share a little story with you about a part of my own life. I am a writer. I have always been a writer. In my head, I see stories. All the time. In every situation, I’m drafting what’s happening onto paper, sometimes air typing in my sleep, constantly spelling words in my head. I remember as a child, my imagination so full I would fall asleep mid-story. Only to awake, and continue.
It hasn’t changed just because I’m an adult. Though for a long time, I did dry up so to speak. Life took it’s toll and my soul was weary. The enemy tried to claim a hold on my heart and liveliness. By destroying me from the inside out. But, I am here. Still here. Stronger than I ever thought I would be.
And, in the newness of this life, I see stories again. Nothing to stop me but me.
Here’s part of the story: I’ve been allowing too much of my energy to be taken up with work. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like to work. But, when the dynamics are so challenging relationally, the stressors and triggers sometimes take me down for a time.
And, I have to retreat to restore.
I had made a list of the things that were stressing me in a bad way at work. You know what I mean. The bad stress is the one that causes nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks. Too much recovery time to deal. The good stress is the one that I find I am challenged to lead, or use more of my skills, to reach down further in me, draw more out.
Well, on this list were about 4 dynamics – you see, these dynamics were all pouncing on that part of my heart and soul that had been so dearly wounded. I could hardly see straight at times from the pain. Hardly hold myself together, sometimes just giving into falling all apart. And, believing I’d never have a wholeness in me where that wounding occurred.
But, by God’s unending grace, I found the strength to show up each day anyways. And, along the way, delighted to be blessed despite the seeming overtaking wave of confusion caused by these things.
I am here to say that all 4 of those things are NOW GONE from my work life.
One by one, they’ve gone away.
And, I learned something exquisite: I realized that the working out was NOT the removal of these things –
It was the beautiful, miraculous healing in my little broken heart.
That, is what has been worked out. Not that my life is all worked out, but that while enduring life, the working out of my heart has happened.
I am choked up at the relief that flooded over me that I had endured it all. Not only am I still here, but flourishing inside.
My creativity is a direct reflection of my healing. The spark of life inside me is burning brightly and this gives me warmth.
And, I cannot express the gratitude that floods me, except that I’ve been crying on and off for days. That happy, letting it all go, crying.
It is almost MORE mysterious to me when things DO work out, than when they do not.
And, aren’t the childhood stories we so love the ones that help us see what it looks like when things do work out? Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan…we are drawn in because we can relate to some of the pain in the characters and we can also relate to hoping things will get better.
I’m more prepared to accept that I don’t usually get what I want, or what I dream about.
That when the opportunity presents itself to step closer to those things I desire – I’m almost scared.
Same analysis as when things don’t workout: what part did I play in all of this? Is this God? what do I do?
I’m happy to say that many times in my little lifetimes things have worked out for me. Over and over. And, yet, so easy to forget this in the struggling.
So, the opportunity set before me now that I’m experiencing a more whole heart: to do what I’m called to do: write.
And, do not stop.
I will do better to remember the working out of my heart’s healing in this life. And, share it.
Besides, in sharing how I’m learning to fly, someone else may find their wings as well.
And, I won’t be as lonely:
Captain Hook: You know you’re not really Peter Pan, don’t you? This is only a dream. When you wake up, you’ll just be Peter Banning, a cold, selfish man who drinks too much, who’s obsessed with success, and runs and hides from his wife and children!
Too Small: I believe in you.
Latchboy: I believe in you.
No Nap: I believe in you, Peter.
Maggie: I believe in you.
Thud Butt: You are the Pan.
Jack: You’re Peter Pan.
Tinkerbell: I believe in you… Peter Pan.
Friends and loved ones – here’s to the working out in your lives as well.
May the enchantments of your souls exceed the hardships of this world.
I believe in you.