“I was born very far from where I’m supposed to be, so I’m on my way home.” ~ Bob Dylan
At almost 50 years old, I can honestly say that I have come a long way. I have become more connected spiritually, resilient and emotionally stronger, with an immense gratitude for the journey it took to even appreciate or comprehend what these words mean. Yet still, I can also equally say that I nonetheless have a long way to go. Sometimes it feels like yesterday that I was a carefree kid, with my only worry being, how many spiders or frogs I would catch in a day with my sister Naomie.
Life was simple mostly, I went to bed most nights with no major concerns. I slept hard, played hard and enjoyed my time being a kid. But life does indeed change. Unresolved issues begin to surface and start to take shape in our lives. Fears about yesterday, today and even tomorrow begin to introduce themselves, and suddenly you find yourself aware of things that you never realized, or chose to pay attention to.
And if you’re anything like I was, you find a way to silence the sudden harshness of those painful discoveries. Being twenty-something and still young at heart has a way of making that period of life easy to dilute a hard season. It becomes more about the fun again, living carelessly and seemingly having your entire life ahead of you. But even that season eventually comes to an end.
So as I reflect on my past and the various stages that I have went through, at thirty and forty-something, and as I consider my relationships, multiple divorces, fatherhood, family and being a brother to three sisters, I know that it all ties together to encompass the journey that I was suppose to live. Some days were shinning moments that I will never forget, while other times were filled with dark moments that I wish I could, but cannot.
Doing the work of knowing self and how our lives connect to everything else gives us the ability to live with a sense of freedom versus regret and bondage. Many of my elders would say, “keep living” as a way to say, one day you will find out, or things will one day change for you. Things do change, but change does not have to be a horrendous event necessarily, albeit disruptive at times. It can be the beginning of your breakthrough, or the next chapter of your life that reveals who you really are and what you’re authentically made of.
Even if that revelation is undesirable or seems untimely, it is a season we must accept and learn from. The question is, will we not only allow ourselves to learn, but will we accept the truth in the discovery? The truth that may hurt, perhaps disappoint, or possibly reveal something positively greater, which often comes as a masked phantom from the past. A phantom that we once buried, hid or denied. Now he/she is back, seeking to bring equilibrium to our mixed up lives. But now is not the time to seek refuge or run. It is the time and season to face what we are ready for. Yes ready for!
Each moment is no accident, as each season we face is an opportunity to recognize the power that lies within us. A power that has the ability to transform our fear to our greatest moments of faith and enduring change. Yet in many cases we shrink back and allow what we don’t understand, paralyze what we do next. So we stand still in awe of what we could be, versus stepping forward in what we already are.
Yet even this does not mean life if over. We still have it, the greatness that whispers to us during our quiet moments, when we choose to listen. Can you hear the words – g-r-e-a-t-n-e-s-s? Yes, they are still speaking to you, and about you! Yet like me, it’s okay if you’re still finding your way, because like me, one day you will get there.