Here is the house. It was once pretty and white. Now the bushes are dead. The roof leaks. The front door hangs crooked. See the bedroom. The wallpaper has gray flowers. It peels away from the wall in strips. The window is broken. There is a dirty mattress on the floor. See Jane. She wears a yellow sundress. It is faded and torn. It is too tight. She has bare feet. She sits on the mattress. Her back is against the wall. See the needle. It is rusted and old. It is filled with heroin. It is stuck between Jane’s toes. See Dick. He is very skinny. His hair is greasy and brown. He pushes the plunger. He laughs. Laugh, Dick, laugh. Jane throws her head back. She looks at the ceiling. Look, Jane, look. But she can’t see. Her eyes roll back in her head. She breathes in a suck of air. She says, “Oh, God. Oh, God.” Numb, Jane, numb.
You heard the call on your life.
I know at some point you have. And if you try to tell me that you haven’t, that you just don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, I won’t believe you. You heard the call. Maybe you didn’t want to hear it, but you did. The call is there. Loud as an MMA announcer with a megaphone. Quiet as wind through the grass. Or maybe no sound at all, just a feeling that keeps tugging at you and won’t let up. You recognized it as something you’re supposed to do.
But you got scared.
Maybe you started to question. What if you’re wrong? What if that’s not the call? What if you spend all kinds of time pursing a path that’s not the one you’re supposed to be on? Won’t you just be wasting your life? Or maybe you thought of all the things that could possibly go wrong if you went down that path. What if you had to leave your friends or family? What if you had to give up some things you didn’t want to give up? What if you had to risk your familiar life for something that might not work?
Or maybe you compared your calling to someone else’s calling and found yours lacking. Why can’t you have the calling that gives you money/power/prestige/status/insert-what-it-was-you-were-hoping-for-instead? Why can’t you have the calling you want? Or maybe you were filled with self-doubt. What if you don’t have what it takes? What if you can’t manage to pull it off? Who are you to take that on? Or maybe you took one look at the big picture and thought it was impossible. How are you ever going to get there? Seriously, how could anybody get there?
And so you said no.
Maybe you shut your eyes and stoppered your ears with your fingers and sang la-la-la-la trying to drown it out. Maybe you thought if you ignored the call, it would just go away. Or if you went sprinting in the other direction, you could outrun it. You think by saying no, you don’t have to risk anything. You are safer. Grind to a halt and you don’t have to worry about the unknown you might run into if you’re moving. Stay at the edge of the crossroads and you’ve got the vantage point where you think you will be able to see anything that’s coming at you. Wait. Don’t make a choice that might be wrong. Don’t make a decision that might get you some consequences you didn’t want or intend. But, of course, the not choosing, that’s a choice too. It’s the equivalent of shouting no to your calling.
Or you said: yes, but . . .
Maybe you were brave and you started down the path you were meant to be on. And challenges got thrown at you. And you didn’t expect it to be this hard. Nobody told you that going in. And then fear hit you. And so you decided you’d only go so far. You put caveats on what you were willing to do. You created limitations and boundaries. You made a solid box for your calling to fit inside.
And now you find yourself unhappy.
You can’t put a finger on why you’re unhappy. You tell yourself it’s because of your job/your family/your weight/insert-your-reason-here. That unhappiness is a feeling of unease, of something that should be, of something missing. It is deep down. At the core of you. It doesn’t go away. You don’t like feeling it. And so you don’t. You keep yourself too busy. You numb yourself with substances. You distract yourself with people and activities and behaviors that don’t serve your well-being at all. And, by doing all that, you keep saying no.
But you can change your mind.
You can say yes. Oh, you surely can. Even now. Even if it’s been a really long time. Even if you’re scared. It’s not too late. I promise you that it isn’t. You can say yes to the journey, to the unexpected path. Say yes to not knowing exactly where you’ll end up. Say yes to whatever force is out there, trying to guide you to be all that you’re meant to be and to do. Say yes to a bigger life, to your gifts and to sharing them with the world, to fulfilling your purpose. Say yes to your calling over and over and keep yourself moving. Say yes to coming alive.
The only thing fear means is:
There is something incredible that will grow you and amazing that you really need to experience and life-affirming that will make you feel fully alive on the other side. So fear not, my friend. You’ve heard the call. Now all you have to do is say yes. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes.
Have you said yes to the call? If so, how did it change your life?