ב”ה الحمد لله
Today I watched Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday and was introduced to Father Richard Rohr (http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Oprah-and-Author-Richard-Rohr-Video). It’s the first time I can remember where I’ve said, “I want to be like that guy!” Quite inspiring.
My biggest takeaway, however, was a sense that I might be able to get comfortable with not trying. I might be able to finally let go of my sense of trying to accomplish something important in this life.
As far back as I can remember, I have felt a burden (or a sense of destiny) that I was to do something significant in the world, to make the world a better place. Not just by living a moral life, but by participating in the larger public life in some important way. For the better part of my younger years, I attributed this to compensatory grandiosity — children who are neglected or emotionally abused receive the message that they’re not important, and they often feel driven to accomplish something big when they grow up.
In more recent years I have felt like perhaps I actually have a calling, that my desire to have an impact might be part of a larger plan. But lately I’ve come to the conclusion that regardless of the origin of the feeling, and independent of whether in fact I am called to something, I need to let go of this notion of “having to accomplish something important”. It gets in the way of living in the moment, and it undermines whatever chance I have at a modicum of humility.
So I’ve understood that I need to stop trying so hard to create an “important” life. But I haven’t known how to do that letting go.
And today I got some inkling of how it might look to just be comfortable doing whatever the current situation calls for. Not looking for how it might lead to something else, not trying to figure out God’s Plan. Just rising to the very small occasion of the present moment and taking the best action I can. Making the phone call, writing the email, doing the errand, washing the dishes.
And resting comfortably in the knowledge that if The Master of the Universe wants me to do something that I might call “bigger”, then, at some point in time, the arising situation will call for action of a kind that will accomplish His Purpose.
Just being is enough. Just being here, now, and embracing my life as it unfolds in the space right around me. That’s enough.
Easy to understand, perhaps, but I think that’s been the hardest thing for me to feel in my gut. And somehow today, it’s gotten easier after seeing Father Rohr, a man of God who embodied that kind of trust. So thank you Oprah Winfrey, and thank you Father Rohr, and, mostly, thank you, God, for sending this show my way.
So what does it look like? From the outside, probably not much different. I continue to work on clearing the old childhood experiences. I continue to deepen my relationship with my bride and her son. I continue to rest into California, my new job, my new and old relationships with people nearby. (And I hope soon to include some volunteer work in the mix.)
But today I am newly inspired to be content with that, to simply do that to the best of my ability. Not to try and make my life “important”.
It’s already as important as it’s going to get. Because The Master has decided I should be here.
And, gentle Reader, the same is true of you.