When a challenge comes my way these days, I have learned to ask myself some very important questions: Is this directly related to my personal truth? How does this affect my expression of Heart, core Self? How does this relate to my Purpose, Vision, and Mission? Why is this coming into my life right now? What did I do to attract this?
I want to make it clear that I don’t go through every day of my life in this sort of methodical way. This is for really big challenges, not “Why did I end up behind this nitwit driving 25 mph under the speed limit?”
This morning I referred to Ego responses when challenges arise. Lately, I have been presented with job possibilities. Do I pursue them or not? Well, I start thinking about the questions, but Ego works through its old circuitry subtly and quickly: “Must make money. Must make others happy. Must meet expectations. Must not appear fanatical.” Notice that Ego, mine at least, likes to make things urgent. Well, Ego, if you need a must, I must write, because that is the largest part of my Vision and my Mission. My truth is I feel no urgency. My creation of Purpose had one prime parameter: it had to be fun, make me feel happy to work in it every day.
In my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart, Eric Lafarnge faces a challenge from his wife Anne, who has observed the time leading up to Eric’s awakening. It’s made a difference for him, but it has put a strain on their relationship in the following passage.
Anne’s smile vanished. “What do you mean, Eric? Never mind, I know. You didn’t want me to get the associate position. I sickened you every time I talked about it. I could see it in your face. Don’t try to deny it.”
“Hey, I was complimenting you. I won’t try to deny it, though, dammit. I rooted for you, and you know it. But you became obsessed with the opportunity and Paul and the other guys. To me, you didn’t seem to care about the engineering, just the power.” Eric didn’t move, didn’t flinch. “You know what, Anne? I didn’t even mind that. I’m realistic. If you want a position like that, you’ve got to play the game. You know why you started seeing disgust, disdain, whatever you want to call it, in my face?”
“Oh, no, I’m sure I don’t know why, Eric. I’m not a wise, deep, moody-ass thinker like you. So why don’t you tell me.” She turned from him for a split second and turned off the stove top burners.
Be truthful, not angry. Eric paused for a few seconds. “Okay, Anne, I was happy for you. But I have been questioning playing that game for months now, wondering what I really wanted to do about the partnership. It wasn’t me; it’s not me. And you very much kept shoving me, forcefully, in that direction.”
Anne relaxed a bit. “If you want something like that, you’ve got to be ambitious. You’ve got to go after it. You have no ambition for a lawyer of your status. It’s like you lost the will to work.”
“Anne, I don’t want to get you more riled up because you keep accusing me of being philosophical and seem to think it’s a negative thing. But I have to say this: ambition is not the same as passion. I am passionate about seeking justice for people, and it took me all this time to realize it.”
Anne walked past him and sat down on the other side of the counter. Eric turned and sat down, too. “Okay, Eric, I’ll take the bait. What are you talking about when you say ambition is different than passion?”
“Look. It takes special determination and persistence to reach these partner levels, and you did it. But your drive and actions were all geared toward this personal gain at the expense of what your passion for engineering had been. That’s the difference I saw in you when you told me about your plans for the new project — that spark of passion, a love for the work that excites you, not ambition that drives you relentlessly. The passion will carry you forward. Ambition will squash passion if you’re not careful.”
“You’re speaking too much like a lawyer parsing fine divisions of words.”
“Maybe, but you wanted me to be a partner, pushed me for it. I could have done it, could still do it. Jack and Peter want me to.”
“Not for me. My passion is to work for justice like this new case before me now.”
“What are you saying, Eric? You don’t want a partnership? Don’t you realize the power and control you’d have? Don’t you know or even care about what that would do for us or mean for us? God, you are so selfish!”
“Anne, you don’t get it; I think you are being blinded by this power shit. Please, understand, I want to, I choose to, stay close to the sort of people I got into this for, people who need personal justice against a rigged system, one where everyone covers their asses.”
“Eric, are you really that naive? Of course asses are covered. Otherwise, progress would never be made.”
“Progress for whom, Anne? For Peter Colboard, Jack Actov, Paul Egan, and …” He stopped abruptly.
“And who, Eric, me? And you, if you take the partnership? Is that who? Am I unjust, Eric?”
A serious relationship challenge tests Eric’s new resolve. How does he handle it?
How would you? I shared some of the questions I would ask at a time like this. It’s so crucial for me to stand on my personal truth during serious challenges.
Blessings in living your truth, purpose, and vision!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!