This morning a thought occurred to me: “What if I don’t make it as a writer?”
This led to other questions:
· What if I don’t get my house on the beach?
· What if I don’t get to spend my life with my Muse?
· What if I don’t prosper financially?
· What if no one ever reads my writing?
Fortunately, the answers came quickly:
· I would keep doing what I’m doing.
· I would keep writing.
· I would keep reading and learning.
· I would keep teaching.
· I would work to improve what I’m doing.
· I would wait for my Muse.
· I would keep looking for the right house.
That’s it. Nothing would change. Yes, I might look at the root causes and see if I can improve my odds. I would keep trying to learn and grow in every area, but there’s not much I would change. I would keep doing what I’m doing.
That leaves me with one conclusion:
My life is perfect.
What does that mean? How can I say that? I still have struggles. I still make mistakes. I’m still not where I want to be. I live in an imperfect world. How, then, can my life be perfect?
First, I must define what perfect isn’t and is. It is not a perpetual vacation. It is not a place of no work, but of meaningful work. It is not a place of no effort, but it is restful. It is also a place of perpetual growth and change. As the lilies stretch towards the sun, so we stretch towards our own light and growth. A perfect life is not one in which I am handed everything I want, but I am afforded the opportunity to earn it.
It also occurs to me that my perfect life was always in reach, but fear and laziness kept me from moving towards it. Now I am working. Now I am making decisions to do the things I was called to do. I still struggle. I still battle laziness, fear, distractions, and procrastination. I still don’t have my house on the beach. I still don’t have the money I’d like. But for the first time in my life, I am working towards those things. I am aware of my desires and I’m moving forward.
My former imperfect life was difficult because I was ignoring my own heart. That is an unhappy way to live. Yes, I was able to do good and even do well, but I felt like a trustee in a prison. I had some flexibility, but no freedom. This was no one’s fault but mine. I made my choices. Yes, I complained, incessantly, about those choices. I blamed people, organizations, and circumstances. My complaints sounded like this:
· It’s my family’s fault.
· It’s the government’s fault.
· It’s because of the economy.
· It’s because of my job.
· I don’t have enough time.
· I don’t have the money.
· I don’t have the training, experience, or education.
I rarely asked what I wanted for myself. This was because I didn’t know. More accurately, I didn’t know all the steps, so I stood still. I knew, but I was afraid. Once I began taking steps, once I took action, my life began changing. Some of the steps lead to dead ends. Some were false trails. Some got me lost. There were many times that I had to step back and try another direction. Often, when confronted with a dead-end or a false trail, I would say, “See, I knew this would get me nowhere. I’m not moving again. I’m staying right here. I may be miserable, but at least this is familiar and safe.”
My perfect life is not safe. It offers me no guarantees of success. But it is a far surer thing than standing still, as I did for so many years.
My perfect life is perfect because I am finally accepting responsibility for my choices. I am also making new choices and I will accept responsibility for those. My perfect life is perfect because I am taking actions that align with my heart. This does not mean that I am always right or that I will not have to make small adjustments along the way, but I will decide what changes will occur or how I will respond to the changes that come unexpectedly.
My perfect life is a lot of work, a lot of presence, a lot of gratitude, and a lot of Get Started and Keep Going. That’s what makes it perfect.