Seeking balance is extremely important and since we are all unique, each person needs to find their own balance. Yet the way to balance is the same. Yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, solitude - all these types of activities allow our left and right brains to harmonize, establishing that “unity” consciousness, which is so essential to complete well-being.
It is important here to understand that each human being on the planet is essential and precious. Each of us brings something singular and precious to share with others. Often our gift can get lost, pushed aside by the more immediate (and important) concerns of making a living or caring for a family. Yet if we do not find and share our passion, we will never be truly who we are meant to be.
My journey to my passion has been the long road home in some ways. It has been the difficult life circumstances which have always galvanized me into action. Life, as the kind but not always gentle teacher it is, has provided me with exactly what I needed at each point in my life. I have to admit that I spent many years living in my ego. The ego as the greedy and selfish thing it is does not appreciate difficult circumstances. My ego certainly has never appreciated them. Fortunately, my ego no longer runs the show. (That is an entirely different blog post!)
One such difficult circumstance was the impetus for me discovering my passion for writing. Just like a dragon which was guarding a treasure, my confronting the circumstance through journaling allowed me to both vanquish the dragon and inherit the treasure. If I had only complained to friends over coffee, I would never have found my passion. It was finding the positive way of overcoming the situation that unlocked the treasure. So what is your treasure?
Franz Kafka, one of my personal heroes, wrote amazing allegories of the human condition, which he depicted with stark and unswerving honesty. He lived in the early part of the twentieth century and was a Polish Jew. His most famous book is The Metamorphosis. One of his stories “The Gate” is a favourite of mine and illustrates exactly why we need to find our passion. I will summarize it in a way that gets the point across yet does not do it justice, my apologies Franz.
One day a man walking along, came upon a gatekeeper. There was a particular gate which the man wished to enter but the gatekeeper looked so forbidding that the man decided not to continue. He thought he would wait until such time as the gatekeeper gave him permission. He did not however ask the gatekeeper if he could enter the gate, he simply waited. He waited his whole life time. A few moments before his death, the gatekeeper, who had remained motionless the entire time, moved to the gate, drew out a key, and locked it.
“What are you doing?” The frail, elderly man asked from his deathbed.
“Locking this gate, which was yours. It was meant for you alone. You never chose to enter it. Since you will shortly be dead, I am locking it. No one else can enter this gate.” The gatekeeper said sadly.
The astonished man felt immense regret.
It speaks to the fact that we all have something to accomplish and we need to give ourselves permission to do it. It is no one else who can prevent us from doing it. Only we can stop ourselves from attaining our potential, so why do we do it?
Having just become a published author, I can speak to that. Over the past two years, I have noticed a growing difference between myself and others. I no longer watch television or spend much time with movies or video games. I don’t bother with radio. Although I appreciate my friends deeply, they are aware that I have become a bit more reclusive than usual. My writing has been immensely fulfilling. Yet I am aware of the gulf that now exists between my lifestyle and that of many others. It doesn’t trouble me. But it is there. I suppose I am, what most people would term, a weirdo.
Our society programs us to be all the same. It is a lie. We are all unique. Yet it is a very strong unconscious and conscious program that society tries to inculcate in each of us. We should all do the same things and fit in. Don’t stand out and be a weirdo! Yet it is exactly the weirdos, the “crazy ones” as the Apple ad goes, who do the most good and change the world. One fear that needs to be conquered, if you want to attain your personal greatness, is the fear of standing out, of being different.
The second fear to conquer is the fear of rejection and/or criticism. I write stories, novels, even blogs because I love to. If someone doesn’t agree with what I have to say – that’s okay with me. I don’t take that personally. Once you get past this fear, you can put yourself out there.
Many of us have other fears to confront. Those two were my major stumbling blocks and they may seem small but, trust me, they were not! It is intensely freeing to confront your fears and get past them. Each of us who does that becomes a signpost for the others, just like Kafka was for me. I sure did not want to be that person, who died full of regret, their passion now locked away forever. So the question which remains is, what is your passion? When will you get up and go through the gate that is meant only for you?