Yesterday, I addressed the option of walking away from miserable life situations when the choices of changing or accepting the situation had been equally evaluated. Before going on to the dialog of Eric, one of the protagonists and lawyers in my novel The Fellowship of the Heart, I want to share one more bit of experience.
Just because we hear our hearts and choose to make self known does not mean that all is smooth sailing. In fact, we shouldn’t even choose the heart as the central processing unit if we only want smooth sailing. The ego will work a lot better for that.
Anytime we are faced with a decision and choose the heart, we desire to make that wonderful, unique, infinitely valuable core Self known. Whether we choose to accept, change, or walk away from a challenge under the auspices of the heart, we can expect change that will lead to growth and blessing, but we can’t expect smooth sailing. We can, however, expect to create our vision and to live our purpose.
In The Fellowship of the Heart, Eric Lafarnge comes to the point of awakening to self, to hearing his own heart. However, pre-novel, the following event was one step in his evolution and brought him closer to that point.
Eric’s bosses, Jack Actov and Peter Colboard, watched Eric from their plush conference room. The richly glowing satiny sheen from the walnut paneling seemed to reflect Jack Actov’s self-confidence. Even though he knew that Eric was at one of those crossroads of life, he did not doubt his scheme would hook Eric into their designs of power to control the politics of Missouri, maybe even the nation.
Viewing him through their Holocom connections linked to a private satellite, Actov’s smug smile mirrored the glow of the paneling and the fragrance of their expensive scotch. They watched Eric cross the street and walk into the spacious city park.
Jack: I told you. Lafarnge has been doing this for the better part of a month.
Peter: He has always been so dedicated. Now, he’s leaving for an hour at a time — no clients, no business Holocom on. We are going to lose him, and we need his expertise for this Cadeyrn fellow. That guy is becoming a pest.
Jack: Yes, and a very smart, persistent pest, which does mean that we need Eric.
Peter: Well, why are you smiling? What are you thinking, Jack?
Jack: Peter, you would see it, too, if I just shut up for a few minutes, but I want the credit.
They both laughed.
Peter: Okay, Jack, the credit is yours. Reasoning, please.
Jack: How many times have we seen guys his age go through this crisis of conscience? Am I really accomplishing anything? Does my life matter? No firm convictions about the power that could be theirs. But we need Eric, and in terms of legal acumen, he is better than anyone at this firm in dealing with governmental regulations. Let’s just give him what he wants, and he will have his soul-searching answers.
Peter: Brilliant! His personal unrest puts him right where we want him.
Eric walked with purpose directly to a bench that he had obviously visited before; he plopped down on a bench hugged by lilac bushes and leaned forward, elbows on his knees.
Eric: Nothing’s changed for a month. I keep thinking the same things: The promise of a partnership dangled over my head; Anne is getting the senior associate position; She is so frustrated with me and I don’t know why; I’m frustrated with more than work and I don’t know why. Is this what I’m supposed to be doing with my life?
Eric leaned back and closed his eyes.
Eric: What am I thinking? How could I possibly walk away from this prestige AND money? I’m just anxious. I just need to make it to the weekend, don’t I? Damn, what good will the weekend do?
Stranger (now seated at the other end of the bench): What good will the weekend do?
Eric: Who are you, and when did you sit down there?
Stranger: I was just passing by and tired. It’s warm today, isn’t it?
Eric: Yes, it is, but…
Stranger: So I sat down and heard your question and just couldn’t help but let you know I was here.
Eric: Thank you. I’m sorry you heard that.
Stranger: I’m not. I’m pretty sure that I was supposed to hear exactly that. So let me ask you again, what good will the weekend do?
Eric: I don’t know. I’m thinking about leaving my job. I feel like I’m just filling time and space for no reason — none at all.
Stranger: From what I heard, it must be an impressive position: “prestige and money.”
Eric: Yes, but what good is that if you’re as miserable as I am on the inside?
Stranger: That sounds like a better question than the weekend one. What does the weekend have to do with internal misery?
Eric: I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, and since I have never seen you here before, I will probably not see you again. So, I will answer you. I will be able to forget all of this over the weekend, and I think that if my firm does not offer me the position that I have wanted, I will leave.
Stranger: So, let me get this straight. You are leaving the resolution of your internal misery in the hands of someone else, of someone else’s decision to give you something you want and they have to do it by this weekend. Is that right?
Eric: Well, not exactly, but sort of.
Stranger: You don’t sound very sure about that.
Eric: I’m a lawyer and I have been teased with a partnership in the firm. I could easily go to another firm, but I have built a clientele and reputation where I am. I would never have the recognition or pay elsewhere.
Stranger: How do you know that?
Eric: Well, I ultimately don’t. It’s just the odds, I guess.
Stranger: So, I ask again, what good will the weekend do if the only thing is that you hope by next week someone else will relieve your internal strife? Isn’t that like taking a shooting star as a sign to marry someone — superstition?
Eric: No, not really. I don’t know.
Stranger: Now that sounds honest: you don’t know. What can you do to find out?
Eric smiled at what he perceived to be the old stranger’s naïveté. He briefly closed his eyes, composing a thoughtful response. When he opened them two seconds later, the stranger was gone, only the echo of the final words were in Eric’s mind: “What can you do to find out?”
Eric: I need to make the decision, not Actov and Colboard. I know right now that I will have to leave at some point, and I will choose when. But there is more than that. What can I do to find out?
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!