“We have been raised to believe that anything is possible, that our potential is unlimited, and that we are entitled to our dreams. But maybe finding your calling is not quite so simple.” ~ Jeff Goins
It’s Saturday morning of the May long weekend and the Starbucks in Brockville, Ontario is bursting with people, voices, laughter and energy. We’re visiting a good friend for a couple days and I just needed to get out early this morning to think and write.
If you’ve been following the blog here at Unitas Project you would have noticed that I have not posted anything for a couple weeks. Over the last 5 weeks, life has changed for me. For several different reasons I have gone back to landscaping full time – this has impacted my ability to write.
However, these choices and the outcomes they produce in my life leave me with many questions around life and how it works. Maybe that sounds like a pretty profound thought, or perhaps just a little simple.
I ask: “Are we human beings simply a mixed bundle of all the choices we have made over the course of our life?” In other words, is the quality of life we are presently experiencing a direct result of all the choices we made to this point in our life? Or, is there more to all our stories – are we more than our choices?
On the journey of life, how do we best nurture grace and compassion along with ownership, courage, and community when we are seeking to live our calling and contribute to the needs of others?
The safe way, well, it seems so safe – so stable and certain. If I land a pretty good job, even if I don’t like it too much, at least I can pay my bills and buy some comfort and pleasure along the way.
Question: Do we seek comfort and pleasure because we long to feel alive, safe, and valued or, do we seek comfort and pleasure because we are bored with our present life?
I’m drinking my medium roast coffee this morning in a cafe that provides it patrons with comfort food they can indulge in like delicious frappuccinos, smoothies, various coffees and pastries. And if I don’t really love my life, at least I can buy a luxury vehicle, go on a cruise, escape in the most recent movie release, have a wild affair, watch football or go shopping.
And yet, this chasing after the wind seems to leave us wanting – wanting for more, wanting for something different – something that feels in alignment with the depths of who we are. Maybe we are not the consumers of goods and services that the media and mass marketers make us out to be.
Perhaps I’m a little cynical this morning.
As stated earlier, five weeks ago I went back to a vocation that I told myself I would never go back to. Maybe that was the first error in my ways. Maybe we should never say: “I’m never going to do that again!”
Side thought: Grace and acceptance – extend it towards yourself and your neighbour today, wherever you might find yourself.
Okay, back to this work thing. Have you ever worked at a job that you thought was not in alignment with who you are? Have you ever dreamed a dream and not seen it become a reality?
We live in a world where people sell us on the idea that we will experience the good life when we simply state what we want and then focus our attention in the present moment. We are told that we will witness our wildest dreams unfold before our very eyes when we follow certain prescribed steps.
Perhaps. And perhaps not.
What about when you have bills to pay? What about when you have strong convictions around where you desire for your kids to be educated or providing them with experiences that will nurture their God-given strengths and abilities?
All these things cost money.
Yes we can simplify our life. And yet, having kids, paying for your mortgage, utilities, education, sports, arts, transportation, food, health – all these things cost money, and sometimes a lot of money.
Before you know it, in our present culture, you may need to net $70000+ just to keep your household above water. When faced with this ‘reality’ it becomes very easy for fear to take root and spread through the garden of your life. When this happens you may wake up one day discovering that you are living a life focused on earning a pay check to pay your expenses rather than living a life out of conviction and purpose.
The question for me this morning while I finish my coffee at Starbucks is: “How do we align our values and responsibilities with our dreams, convictions and calling?”
And the truth is: I don’t have the answer.
I have read a lot of things that sound really good, but I’m not sure if they work. Or perhaps better stated, maybe these ideals worked for that particular person in that particular time in their life, but that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily work for you and me today.
This is Unitas Project – a place where we can struggle and grapple together. A place where we can support each other on our journey because life is messy, it simply is. Unitas Project is a place where we can be real and transparent with each-other. A safe place to question and seek; and in the process, discover community, our strengths, fragility and resourcefulness along with our inner courage and creativity.
Today’s Unitas Project:
- Have you ever worked a job that did not feel like it was in alignment with who you are? How did you know this job was not a possible good fit for you? Please feel free to share your thoughts, insights and experience in the conversation below or on the Unitas Project Facebook page.
Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.
Photo taken from iPhoto album