All your blessings are waiting for you at your true address, 101 Peace Way, and you need only head home to receive them.
When I was younger, I had a very keen insight into what was right, and more importantly, what was right for me – my passion, my purpose, my values. Cut to me now, at 27, grappling with whether to choose paper or plastic (It’s paper, right? No! I know this one… it’s the cloth environmental bag I always forget in my trunk!).
For the past five years, since graduating college, I’ve been asking God to let me know with certainty — “make it plain,” as they say — what my purpose is, and to bring me back my joy and satisfaction. So on a particularly ho hum day, I listened to a spiritual podcast, as a 21st-century secular humanist is wont to do, and had a “whoa” moment starring the learned and dependably woo woo Martha Beck.
Martha likened a burdened soul to an elevator. You can’t let the blessings on, she said, until you let some of the burdens off. (“Whoa.”)
Side jaunt: During this time, I had been watching So You Think You Can Dance, and kept hearing dancers say, “Now I know I should be dancing.” And I was hoping for a confirmation of that magnitude that I should be singing/songwriting. So a few days after the Martha Beck podcast, I decided to make myself available. I broke out the keyboard (which is a big deal because it’s very heavy and takes up too much room on my coffee table to share space with a glass of wine). I played a particularly tasty chord and immediately felt a jolt. Now, I’ve always been a big chord lover (non-music heads, we will resume our regularly scheduled program momentarily). Billy Joel, the Beatles, the Beach Boys — I’m not die hard fans of any of these artists, but they’re good examples of artists who know how to use a chord progression to stir emotion, and the older I get, the more I think that’s what I love most about music. So I played my amazing chord, and jumped back on my seat and just started laughing (like a loon). I don’t want to say that was my turning point. The walls didn’t shake, the lights didn’t flicker on and off, Morgan Freeman’s voice didn’t reverberate off the walls. It was just a confirmation of the smallest degree that exactly what I was doing was exactly what I *should* be doing.
I think I’ve been waiting for a 10 on the Richter scale and have been missing all the ones and twos along the way. I would love to say Taylor Swift personally emailed me that day and offered me a spot opening for her on her next tour, but she didn’t. And that’s OK. What I got instead was a flicker of what I call “inspiration memory,” that deja-vu sensation of “Oh yeah, that’s how I used to feel.” And that, at that point in my journey, was a lot more valuable.