A Lesson From The Bard

Maybe you have felt like this before. I know I have. I’m the type of person who’s driven…but not always in the right direction!

No matter how stressed I get. No matter how busy I make myself doing something important. No matter how much I do…It’s all for nothing. It’s the same with with life (mine…and I suspect, yours). All the drama. All the worrying. All the fear. In the end…it’s all about nothing.

Sometimes I feel like the guy who, having climbed the tall ladder, realizes it has been leaning against the wrong wall.

Two years ago, I decided to move my ladder. I was fed up with the status quo, and I was tired of manifesting a life experience with the same unsatisfactory circumstances, just with different specifics.

I asked myself this very important question…”What makes the difference“?

What makes the difference between the moment when everything shifts and the millions of moments that came before it and the millions that come after it? What is that spark?

A Comedy of Errors

For many years, my life could have been characterized as a comedy of errors. I was seeking passion and purpose, while at the same time, hiding from the power I knew lay within me.

This pattern started early in life for me. The first time I hid was at the age of four or five. I realized I was different; and irrationally, I equated different with “less than”.

Have you ever done that? Have you altered something in yourself to try to “fit in” because you felt like being different meant you were less (intelligent, beautiful, worthy) than someone else? I hid till I was nearly thirty. It was then that I said, “Enough!”

I realized that I am enough. Not less than…not broken. And I left that closet door behind, shedding all the shame and guilt like a winter coat which had outlasted its worth under the summer sun.

In my twenties I hid professionally behind the belief that I needed to hunt down my purpose and passion. I spent years searching for it. I learned that sometimes we search in vain for what it is we believe we desire, not realizing that it is resting in our hands waiting for us to recognize that we have never lost it in the first place.

I found a myriad of ways to hide behind “good” work to avoid facing the fear I had over tackling my truly important–my truly vital–work. Next, I hid behind a career change.

“If only I can escape this horrible toxic work environment, I’ll be able to better pursue my passion,” I thought.

And I did escape. But I found myself trapped in another cage…a gilt one of my own making. It was still a cage, nonetheless.

Then, to escape the cage I had built, I decided to return to the dream…you know the one. The dream you’ve held since childhood, but to which you have never dared to fully commit.

I thought that writing a book would fulfill me. I finished it. I published it. I promoted it. But I was still hiding. Not from the world–I had never been more authentic–but from myself!

The Man Behind the Curtain

Recently, I quit hiding. With the help of an insightful friend, I started to embrace my gifts as an encourager, teacher and leader.

You see, I have always had a knack for giving advice and providing clarity to others, but I also feared pursuing this gift because I feared what other people would say. I wanted respect. I wanted credibility. I wanted integrity

If I committed to talking about spiritual topics and to challenging the status quo, people might discount my gifts as “fluff” and “impractical”. I was terrified that others might judge my talents as worthless, insignificant and less than…

I was looking for respect and credibility and affirmation from every external source, yet refusing to allow the internal affirmation that is essential to building a life of true credibility and power.

External affirmation and acclaim springs first from the quiet confidence of the power of the soul

The Next Act

As 2011 came to a close, I worked hard to launch a new site. In a way, I’m starting over. Instead of hiding my light, I am augmenting it. I am walking to the center stage of life and I am leaving the shadow land behind.

I’m not sure where this will take me. I’m not sure exactly how it will all play out. It’s a scary thing. Others might judge. They probably will. That’s okay.

That’s why I’m here at End the Grind. I believe in Steve. I believe in myself. Although this is the “next act,” it is most definitely not the final act! So please join us for the journey.

Steve Rice is the owner of True Spiritual Awakening. He is an author and entrepreneur committed to creating a well-lived life and helping others to do the same. You can follow him on twitter or connect on Facebook.

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