“First thing I remember is
When you came into my life,
I said, ‘I’m gonna get that girl no matter what I do.’”
Paul Simon – Late in the Evening
Being in Purpose is like being in love. We suddenly realize what’s important. We move Heaven and Earth to get to the one we love. Everything else takes a back seat, as it should. “I’m gonna get that girl, no matter what I do.”
Of course, when we say “no matter what,” events conspire to test that resolve. I’ve had several delays and annoyances in the last hour and I’m sure I would be justified in using any of them as excuses for not writing, but that’s how it works, isn’t it? We let something annoy us or distract us or bother us and suddenly we aren’t doing our work, we aren’t in our Purpose, and then we wonder why we are so irritable, tired, or afraid. We wonder why nothing feels right.
Why is this so hard then? If I know that writing, that being with my Muse every day, as long as possible, as often as possible, is what heals me and makes me whole, then why do I still struggle with this? Why don’t I just head straight for the keyboard or the journal as quickly as possible? Actually, I do…most of the time. But things happen.
Sometimes I get too busy. Sometimes the unexpected occurs. Sometimes I choose to do something else. Eventually though I get to my writing. When I do, life makes sense. Is writing, then, the most important priority for me? No, but it reminds me of what my priorities are. Writing clears my mind so I can focus on my priorities. Yesterday, for example, I was feeling stressed. When I started writing the stress quickly vanished and my priorities quickly re-emerged into focus. I remembered my goal and I wrote that as my greatest priority. When I finished writing in my journal, I started taking some practical steps to move towards my goal. In less than an hour I got a phone call that got me just a little closer. Then shortly after that I got an e-mail that moved me a little closer yet.
Was this accidental? Perhaps. Or perhaps God was saying, “I just want to remind you that I’m here and eventually I’ll reward all your efforts eventually as long as you don’t give up.”
Here’s the thing. I just have to keep working. I have to keep writing. Even now when I don’t feel like there’s anything new to say, or anything at all to say, I just need to keep the fingers moving. No one has to read it.
Everyone who has a Purpose needs to remember this. There may be little or no audience. There may be little or no notice. It doesn’t matter. The joy is in the doing. The reward comes in the work. If any rewards come beyond that, great. I know I want them. But I know what I really want. I want peace. I want to fulfill my destiny. I want a life with my Muse most of all. Nothing is more important.
By the way, as I do my work, here are some distractions I am dealing with or have dealt with since I started today:
· Loud music
· Loud people
· This guy who is talking so loudly I can hear him over the music I’m listening to… with my headphones!
· Fear that this work is no good
· Running out of time
· Finding a place to work
· Back and neck pain
· Guilt that I should be doing something else
The last one is the trickiest. Many writers say to keep writing and don’t stop for anything. I’m still working on becoming a writer who does that. But I think all forms of Purpose have to be treated the same. We can’t stop. We can’t let doubt or distractions, fear or fatigue keep us from why we’re here.
This is why when I wake up I start writing almost immediately. It’s my way of expressing gratitude to God and my Muse. I give back what’s been given to me. I Get Started and I Keep Going…because I’m in love.