Truly Powerful People (322)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

In a story cycle as in our life story, to grow we must leave the place that is our safety and refuge and walk toward the most dangerous thing we know. In metaphoric terms, this means to stop running away from our fears and to turn around and walk toward them. The capacity to turn and stride toward fear comes when we bumble into a purpose that is more potent than fear; purpose is that thing that we will give our lives for. This is something that every parent knows.

Serving a greater purpose changes our relationship with our trials and obstacles. I used to work with a man who said, “People don’t change until the pain is great. People will move when it is more painful to sit still than it is to get up and step into the unknown.” The trials live in the unknown places and when we walk into our trails we have a choice. We can resist our obstacles or we can embrace them; we can love them.

Loving your obstacle means to stop pushing against it. It means to look for the lesson, to study the movement of the giants, to move slowly and take your time looking for the signs, the mosses and direction of the sun that can orient you. Rushing through will defeat you every time.

Loving your obstacle does not mean to be passive or weak; it means to be clear about your purpose. It means to keep sight of your purpose even as you meet obstacles. It means to be present in your life in the midst of the conflict. Too often we engage the obstacle as an enemy and soon defeating the obstacle takes precedence over the purpose; the purpose gets lost in the battle.

Ask anyone on their deathbed if their lives where made rich from their achievements or from their relationships. The riches are in the process and rarely in the outcomes. It is a cliché but it is the journey that matters. There will always be another arrival. And another. And another. That is why story is such a potent teacher and effective road map. The obstacle serves the motion, it is the motor that moves the story forward. Without the obstacle, the story has no capacity to progress and the same is true in our lives. The journey stops when the obstacles disappear. As Robert Olen Butler wrote, “Story is a yearning meeting an obstacle.” A newly transformed butterfly needs to struggle out of the cocoon – the struggle provides a necessary stage of development; removing the struggle will kill the butterfly. Remove the obstacle and the purpose disappears like so much dust.

One Response

  1. Amen David, you speak the truth. We find great beauty in this wisdom, as our yearnings, longings and desires serve as clues to inform us of our authentic Self; the image we were born with.

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