I just took a big risk and forfeited a great paying job…two of them actually. Although I have a decent amount of money saved, choosing not to work right now is totally illogical.
But I have dreams. And in some downtime between a job that ended and another that was to begin, those dreams began to recur. Rest realigns your purpose. And that rest in between jobs gave me the space to remember what makes me happy, remember who I am, remember what I was born to do, who I was created to be. And all of that rest and remembering served me well. I remembered so well, and so vividly, that saying yes to another well paying job became more and more difficult.
What struck me most as I was making my decision, was how difficult it was for me to actually act on what I knew I wanted to do. I knew I didn’t want to take the jobs, I knew I had the financial freedom to say no to them, but the paralyzing crisis of freedom perplexed me. Why is it so difficult to actually do what you want, to say yes to yourself?
Trusting yourself is one of life’s greatest challenges. It takes practice. It requires a daily commitment to affirming yourself. Trusting yourself forces you to ask yourself everyday – Do I believe my potential? Are my dreams supported by the universe, God? Am I determined enough to make what exists in my imagination a reality?
Saying yes to yourself demands courage. You have to be daring enough to take a risk. Wild enough to follow your heart. Audacious enough to believe it is possible. And as I get older, my fearlessness in the face of the unknown is threatened with every obligation, every financial commitment, every idea that I must be, do, or have this or that, and everybody else’s better idea of who I am supposed to be according to them.
In the end, it all came down to a matter of the heart. When I lived out of my heart in the reality of working those jobs, I felt anxious. When I lived out of my heart in the reality of having the freedom to take time for myself and work towards executing my ideas and my vision, I felt peace. So, I chose peace. But I also learned that choosing peace doesn’t always mean you won’t be uncomfortable. There is always discomfort in the gray…in the space between black and white…that certainty of knowing, there is always discomfort. We prefer to be certain, we prefer to have answers, we prefer to have a plan clearly outlined, to follow a map. But there is also a map of the heart. And the only way to follow it is to rest in the peace of knowing that our hearts desires will in fact lead us somewhere. To some place where freedom and joy meet. Some place far off in the distance that even with perfect vision we can barely see. But it is there. We can glimpse it. And it can be felt, deep in our soul. It can be heard in the quietest of moments. It is a God whisper, saying to our soul…Yes. And we have to listen for that whisper of a feeling every day. We have to practice hearing it, practice saying yes to the unknown. Like a child who jumps in a pool for the first time, or takes her first ride on a bike. Children see other people do what they cannot yet and trust and believe they too will be able to swim and ride and be free. It just takes practice.