The Other End of Your Rainbow
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell
Depending on how you read this, this quote might sound somewhat drastic or even confusing. Perhaps it conjures images of packing your bags and venturing off into the unknown. However, I don’t believe that Joseph Campbell is telling us to sell our house, divorce our spouse, or change careers. That’s not what he means. His message speaks to opportunities, those possibilities that we often dismiss as we have a tendency to think small and limit our beliefs as to what we can accomplish and who we can become.
I don’t know about you, but I used to think that I had it all figured out. Sure there would be bumps in the road and detours that forced me in different directions from my goals and expectations. Still I believed that I understood what I wanted to do and where I was going. But then, when I received a cancer diagnosis seven and a half years ago, my world rocked. Slowly, as I recovered and returned to my “normal, healthy self,” I started asked questions, big questions… and that’s when I realized there was more to life, much more than I was experiencing or expecting.
Awareness is one thing, however action is another. It took several years for me to digest this discovery. First I started to alter things… my diet, my workouts, my philosophies, and eventually my perspectives. I began to look inward, eventually having the courage to begin tackling the tough work, facing those shadows I’ve tried to ignore. And while this process is never-ending - God knows I still have so much more to learn and understand - I am beginning to forgive myself and others, to choose love over fear, and to consider my reason for being.
Each one of us has a purpose. In fact some people spend their entire lives trying to find a crystal clear image, some sort of validation of what their reason for being is. I’m not sure that we will ever truly know our exact purpose, as we won’t receive a definite message such as, “Yes, this is why you are on Earth.” Plus, it’s not about being able to announce that we’ve found it. It’s about the journey, the process of discovery that matters most.
But how do you know when you’re on the correct path? After all, we don’t want to waste time going in the wrong direction.
As we get closer to living the life that is waiting for us, I believe that things just begin to feel right. Everything becomes simpler. We don’t double guess (or quadruple guess) our choices. Synchronicity takes over. Life flows more easily. We’re not constantly fighting time. And, things seem to show up when we most need them. In no way does this mean that bad things don’t occur. Shit still comes our way, but it is our reaction to the unforeseen, the unpleasant, and the inconvenient that changes. There is a subtle shift in our being that permits us to accept what is instead of fighting reality..
When we can leave behind our expectations, stop demanding what we think we want from others and ourselves, live in the present moment, and permit ourselves to change course, that is when beautiful possibilities arise. Often these opportunities don’t look so enticing. In fact, for me, they’ve appeared in small ways… my saying yes to a writing workshop only to find out that this hesitant “okay I’ll try it” attitude led me to discovering a passion that I never knew existed.
While trumpets will not sound nor lightening strike when the time is right for us to shift, take a chance, or go out on a limb, the call is still there. It just doesn’t present in a “this is about to change your life” fashion. Instead it subtly appears… it is patient… and it will keep knocking at our door, but in order for us to hear this sound we need to be open, present, and aware.
My hope is that we can all leave behind the parts of our lives that do not serve us, that prevent us from growing into our higher selves, that keep us locked to “shoulds” and “have to’s” so that we are open to new possibilities which will allow us to elevate in the most unexpected ways. We must stop thinking small and limiting what is possible in order to discover the life that we are meant to live.
Dream, believe in yourself, and trust that you have what you need to do to live the life that awaits you.