As much as we all dream of meeting our potential, it will not come without sacrifice.
Sacrifices that we, as people on a mission, could never dream of until we are faced with them. When we think of success, we tend to think of a precise line. Success is anything but linear. When we pray for success, it’s not that our prayers go unheard, it’s just that we are responsible for our next steps.
This is where it gets tricky, though;
Sacrifice, never seems like sacrifice in the moment. I have found that sacrifice usually presents itself as ultimatums, and impossibility.
As an example: In an earlier post, I illustrated the fact that in order to move, I had to do the impossible: I had to choose between my two dogs in order to move to my new apartment. I had to move in order to get a fresh start, mentally as well as financially.
I was unable to make that decision at an earlier time, and as a consequence of my indecision, I was faced with it again.
It was time to decide, would I do the unthinkable in order to get a fresh start, or would I stay where I was, because of my resistance to change?
It was not easy leaving my chihuahua behind.
This pain we are asked to face, I believe is why we sometimes stay where we are, even if change would be good for us – because we aren’t willing to lose. In turn, we also forfeit our right to choose.
I can’t blame or shame anyone for that. Letting go of anything – routine, our children, our parents, our habits, at times even our entire identity, is devastating.
There is no manual for letting go. There are no easy ways; there are no ways to avoid the pain of letting go.
As humans, we are wired to choose pleasure over pain – that’s the way our brains are. Our brains are also geared toward habitual ways of being, like drug addiction. Nobody wants to let go of something that makes our world easier to deal with – even if it causes us pain and ultimately, death.
We know that resistance is futile. We know. We only let go when it’s time to, and it’s never the right time to say goodbye to a friend, lover, or family member.
Success looks nothing like our daydreams.
If I could paint a picture of what the road to my potential looks like, it looks an awful lot like indecision, on top of a mountain of self-reflection.
At best, there is recognition and pats on the back. At worst, it’s a whole lot of facing ourselves – our demons, our loneliness, maybe even the fact that we aren’t as nice and charitable as we see ourselves.
That, my friend, is the cross we must bear. When we are pondering pursuing our potential, when we are thinking of our art being published, when we imagine ourselves on the shelves of our local bookstore, or on our local news, we must then ask ourselves what we are willing to lose in order to make our dreams a reality.
This is my question for you, dear reader,
What are you willing to lose, or choose?
In the comments, you can feel free to tell me about some of the choices you’ve had to make to get where you are. What was the impossible choice, what was the outcome? I’d love to hear from you.
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