Lesson 47: Whatever you’re here to do, do it now.

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“Happiness dulls the fighting spirit; only a broken heart can give you the anger and hunger necessary for real… victory. It could well be true.” ~ theguardian.com

For some time now, I’ve been in “time out.” 

It’s felt as if the universe had me in a holding pattern, which really sucked. Things have definitely started to shift recently, but for several years everything I tried to do – professionally and personally – failed. I felt like that kid, Leo, in the Ikea commercial with a pan on his head as he bangs hopelessly into the dent-resistant kitchen cabinets.

When I finally took a chance submitting my writing and got published earlier this year, I realized why. Almost immediately, I found an audience of people just like me who were inspired and reassured that they weren’t alone. And they’ve done the same for me. Not that it’s made being home alone on too many Saturday nights any less lonely or frustrating, but at least all the years standing still made sense: I’m supposed to be writing.

In order to achieve my full potential, and to learn what I’m here to learn, I’ve been put in grown-up “time out.”

As soon as I realized that, I was even more motivated to write. Whatever it is I’m meant to share or achieve – I wanted to do it as soon as possible. Because deep down I knew I wasn’t going to find love until I did. Falling in love tends to drive you away from fulfilling your dreams, because it fills you up so completely. So if the universe has some plan for me as a writer, and is holding me back until I get on it, well then – let’s get on it. I want to make a difference AND share my life with the right someone.

I don’t think I ever fully acknowledged my theory until I heard it said last night in the sci-fi movie “The Adjustment Bureau.” In it, Matt Damon’s character Congressman David Norris, wants to know why the “Bureau” is intent on keeping him from the woman he’s so drawn to. The answer was that she wasn’t part of the bigger plan:

“Because she’s enough, David. If you have her you won’t need to fill that inside of you with applause and votes and dreams of one day making it to the White House.”

I was blown away – it felt like confirmation from above. I know it’s a movie, but it’s so true – look at all the amazing songwriters, artists, and designers who found success through adversity and heartbreak. Adele is only one great example of someone “turned her heartache into precious gold.”

But it also pissed me off. “They took him away from me,” was my first thought, “so I would write.” And it worked.

Even though I agree that love is not enough, it’s just as important – if not more so. Finding the person who makes your heart sing is everything. How dare anyone, or any power, use it as a bribe or take it away as motivation?

Not that any of us have any control over it anyway.

All we can do, is when we hear that soft, but constant voice saying “Write,” or “Paint,” or “Run for office” – that we do it. As soon as we can. Because I’m more sure than ever that until we follow that inner guide, nothing will ever change.

“Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.” ~ The Adjustment Bureau

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