The inner conflict of taking action vs. letting life happen always fascinates me. On the one hand, setting my goals and working on them helps me feel productive. I love to immerse myself in learning, so taking some sort of action, such as working on my novel, allows me to discover more about the process and about myself.
Funny thing is, from time to time life drops something unexpected into my lap, something that raises its hand and says, “Here’s one of the reasons you are here.” One example is the conversation I had with my mother years ago, after I’d had a stillbirth. Mom was looking for a book for grandparents, and as it turned out, there wasn’t much available. In the course of that conversation, I knew that it was “my job” to write such a book…and I did.
Years later, I would feel the same way when I fell in love with a man with children. Stepmothering is challenging, but I have always felt that I was the “right person” for the job.
In these times, when we are given a direction so crystal clear, our fears don’t matter. We forget about what people might think or about what can go wrong. Instead, we put one foot in front of the other and “git ‘er done.”
Recently, as you know from previous posts, I have taken on compiling and organizing my late mother-in-law’s journals. We found the first ones even before the funeral, and from the moment I made the discovery I had that now-familiar goose-bumpy feeling that I had found my next assignment.
Most of my family is secular, even agnostic. I have, however, had too many of these “assignments” to assume that they are just strange quirks of my mind. When I knew my daughter was dying, I felt comforted by something beautiful, as though I were being held in the arms of God. That comfort carried me through the development of the book and beyond.
So when I am toiling away, day after day, on other projects–the yoga book, the novel, the various essays I submit for rejection to contests–what does that mean? I don’t know. But maybe the learning, the discipline, the commitment, and yes, the faith, lead us to those moments when we say a ha! My path is clear today. These moments, to me, are glimpses of a greater perfection.
I plod away. I study my French, and I don’t know why…but I do. I work on my novel. I do laundry and cook dinner, all the mundane tasks of daily existence. And when the still, small voice whispers, “This is your task,” I try to be alert to it. I don’t want to miss these moments. They are too special.