For an amount of time undoubtedly inordinate, the apparent overall goal of social media, and, furthermore, social STATUS, has been to portray your life – what you’re doing, creating, accomplishing – all in a way, or with an attitude, that makes it look effortless. Easy. Cool. Without any struggle in the heart or sweat on the brow.
But, I must say, there seems to have been a shift. Have you felt it? The steadily-building rumble beneath your feet? It looks like we’re catching on now. The jig is up. This grotesque guise of ease finally dying – tired, counterfeit, spent.
I have never been interested in making my journey or creations look pretty or likable or easily understood for the sake of it. I am not interested in making it look easy. I am interested in honesty, in seeing things as they really are. Not because I want everyone around me to admire me for how hard I’ve worked, but because I desperately want to detangle this snare, shatter this illusion, exterminate this cop-out we all seem to buy into when we see someone we know doing something we also feel drawn to, even called to, but quickly dismiss the possibility of.
“I’m not meant for that sort of thing,” we say, “Only these other people. See? Here’s the proof. It comes so easily to them.”
No. I would contend that, for the vast majority, it does not.
I want to communicate the simple truth that, with lies of what isn’t “meant to be,” we bury our own truths and hold ourselves hostage from what we ARE meant to be, effectively denying ourselves of our DESTINY.
It’s a subtle game, do you see? The way we convince ourselves we are destined not to fulfill our own destiny.
We do ourselves a disservice when we imagine destiny as something that happens to us, magically landing in our lap. We cheapen ourselves and our work when we allow others to believe that progressing at our craft, our brain-children, our reason for being, the very passion or devotion that pulls us out of bed in the morning and through the days, was hardly work at all.
And perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe there are exceptions, rare prodigious anomalies who knew from the very instant they drew their first breath what they were made to do, and did so, without effort, without struggle, quickly stepping into an applauded spotlight of success, riches, and glory. But I just can’t believe that it is so. The gentle voice in the back of my mind which I have come to regard as a guide insists it is not.
For a small while now, a few years, I have felt like I am onto something. Almost as if I’ve been following a trail of breadcrumbs, leading me to more and more truth. Maybe it’s folly, delusion. Maybe it’s simply the newfound power of the cappuccino in my life. But I don’t think so. I think it’s something bigger. Something more.
My limited experience thus far has lead me to suspect that destiny is something built into you, something only you can know, and, furthermore, bring into reality. It is a map, a guide, nudging you toward the role you were always meant to play.
But just because you were meant to do something, just because you have a passion for it that threatens to drive you to madness like a siren drives the desperate sailor over the stern, doesn’t mean it’s going to come effortlessly. It doesn’t mean that your pursuit of it will allow you to look cool the entire time. And those exceptions, anomalies, I now identify as myths, saboteurs, liars we use to keep ourselves safely within our comfort zones.
Things like magic, inspiration, destiny, they don’t spend themselves on an unworthy cause. They do not cast themselves as pearls to swine. They will offer themselves, yes, but only to those who actively seek them out.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” -Picasso
We’re all drawn to, enchanted by, enamored with stories of characters who discover they are The Chosen One. Well, it is my contention that the reason for this is we see ourselves in these stories. We’re so drawn to them because they remind us of this part of ourselves we’ve been ignoring, drowning out, and disconnecting from for so long. Because it seems easier that way. Because there is less risk. Because we feel we can be more easily approved of and accepted by those around us if we can only shut it up. Because it’s less work. Because by staying in our comfort zone we can at least keep up the illusion of cool.
But I believe that we are all the chosen ones of our own story of destiny, if only we can find it in us to sacrifice our ego, comfort, pride, our determination to look cool, calm, and approved of, long enough to claim our power.
Not to say I’m particularly skilled or accomplished or hold myself as any sort of poster child for manifesting destiny. That’s actually my entire point! I’m really not especially anything. For heaven’s sake, I woke up at 9:30 a.m. today to find a stray chocolate chip from last night’s snacking session had made its way under my pillow and melted all over my hand! This is not a portrait of someone who has it all figured out! But I have been working.
Over the past few years, I have been gradually, consistently working to make my life look more like what I’ve always innately wanted it to. And, you know what? I’m finally seeing results. In small ways, yes, but those small ways taste so much sweeter and feel so much bigger than I ever imagined I could deserve or achieve.
And so it’s important to me to make it clear that anything I have achieved hasn’t come easily. In fact, it hasn’t come at all. Things don’t just come to us simply because they were meant to. Rather, we know, internally, what is meant for us, and it is up to us, through our efforts, failures, trial and error, to bring it into this realm of existence, to make it real. It’s more like specifically envisioning what you want, and grabbing at the threads that make that idea possible, slowly weaving them together.
For me, it has come from forcing myself to try, to get in the ring, to throw some damn punches, instead of sitting around in low-vibrational environments, criticizing anyone who dares to try, numbing myself with gossip in a sad attempt to distract myself from my own work, my own mission, my own progress.
I can’t do that anymore. I’ve simply run out of the patience it takes to sit around and state the obvious. Frankly, I have too much to do.
It’s a willingness to show up, and consistently so, when everything inside of me seems to be begging me to just keep hiding, keep quiet, keep using shame and sarcasm and self-depreciation as a shield, keep playing it safe, keep small.
It’s daring to allow myself the ROOM TO BE IMPERFECT, to be bad at something in order to gradually, eventually improve. It’s working steadily rather than waiting for some mythical moment of instant gratification, some imaginary hand to appear and scoop me up, dropping me effortlessly into my dreams.
It’s putting forth efforts to heal myself, to take responsibility for how I feel, what my life looks like, rather than remaining a victim.
It’s a willingness to just try it, to step out of fear and into possibility. It’s detaching my self-worth from other people’s actions, realizing that what people do is always, always, always about them.
It’s trusting my vision.
Your heart is your map, and the world is your mirror – they’ve been trying to tell you something. So, what do you see?