“When you trust yourself, you will understand how to live.”
Have you ever actually heard yourself whining about how you can not do something?
I have… and it was not pretty. However, it was made for a funny story!
In actuality, I created a demonstration based on stated humorous story and delivered it recently at a women’s networking event. The conversation was well-received (and everyone laughed at the funny part) but I rather surprised myself at the question and answer period afterwards.
My presentation was called,”The Electric Jello Story – Turning I Can Not Into I Could… and I Will.”
The first part of my talk was a somewhat sordid tale in my party days about a bachelorette gone awry. I had overindulged in certain electrical jello shooters and was sent home from the pub early. But when the women attempted to wake me from my drunken slumber at the wee hours of this morning (so I could buzz them up into the flat ) I wanted no part of being awakened, thank you very much.
Nor could I appear to find out which button to push on the absurd intercom to allow them in the foyer.
Unfortunately, my repeated wails of”I can not” (in the most whining and pathetic tone imaginable) was listed on the answering machine.
But to this day, I could still hear how dreadful I seemed!
Anyhow, in the next part of my presentation, I told the story of this conversation I had had with my husband the day before he died. I had said to him:”I am so scared I will wake up 20 years from now and not have completed North Palm Beach Raccoon Removal.”
To which he had responded:”You are likely right about that… just so long as you understand that will have been your decision.”
But in all fairness, after 12 years of being together, I believe the poor man had run out of patience listening to me complain and whine about not having the money or time to write. For at least a decade, I had used every excuse in the book as to why I could not make my writing a priority.
I promised myself I’d wake up early the next morning and do an hour of writing prior to going to work in my clerical job.
“I am too tired to write.”
When I finally hauled my butt out of bed, after pushing the snooze button several times, there was not any time to write. In actuality, there was hardly time for me to get to work.
When I did arrive at work, my entire life changed in an instant. John died that afternoon. And I got the wake-up call of wake-up calls about the threat of waiting for a tragedy to wake us to the importance of achieving our dreams.
Two weeks after his departure, I started writing what would become my novel, A Widow’s Awakening. It took me 8 years to get it and me where it had to be. However, I did it.
Once I completed my presentation at the women’s media event, we had an impromptu Q&A, and the host asked me this question:
“If there was only one word to describe what you think is the most crucial thing concerning transforming”I can not” into”I could,” what could it be?”
I thought about this for a minute and then one word popped into my mind.
“But not religion in the standard way we often think about religion, as in having faith in some type of divine guidance or a religious belief.”
“I am talking about faith in your self.” I continued. “I think it’s absolutely imperative that we have faith in ourselves and our ability to achieve what it is we really want to reach. Because if we do not have this, then all of the divine assistance and spiritual guidance in the world can not help us.”
Likewise with our mortal fans.
John believed in my potential as a writer and did what he could to inspire me to take concrete actions towards meeting my goals i.e. get my butt in the seat and WRITE.
But in the end of the day, taking action was my duty. That was a really tough life lesson to learn in the aftermath of such an immense reduction.
If we do not have faith in ourselves that we can – and will – measure up to the plate, each and every day, and do the job that needs to be done, then the reinforcement and support of our nearest and dearest, in addition to any type of divine guidance we might think is available to us, will not be of much use.
And for the record, I DO think there’s a tremendous quantity of spiritual aid just waiting in the wings to help guide us… sending us all sorts of signs and signals. We just have to a) listen and b) do it. I guess, however, that those other forces do not require our faith.