I used to answer calls when I worked for this huge religious organization. One day, a woman called who sounded completely worn out by life. She said something along the lines of: “I really don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to change how I’m living. I don’t feel like doing any of the things I know I’m supposed to do.”
I’ve thought about that call often.
I once got high and wrote:
“The woman who called that day said she thought the leader of the organization would have understood exactly how she felt.
“Knowing that leader, I’ve come to conclude that I don’t think she was right: I don’t think he would have understood.
“I saw that leader filled with zeal and energy. I also saw him running on empty at times; but I never saw him stop or waver in his devotion or sense of purpose.
“Each time he spoke, his message was always brought back to sheer gratitude—his artful words painting a very real picture of freedom, joy, and the experience of having been set right from the uncontrollable messiness of his former life.
“I think that leader would tell the lady who called that she could definitely find passion for those good things she didn’t feel like doing. He’d probably counsel her to develop a habit of hearing and considering words of hope (in his case, scriptures) until she experienced those words speaking into her life.
“I believe the process I’ve been describing is actually the same beneath the surface: As you record and prepare to share your real experience, you become acutely aware of the specific values your addictions and limitations are keeping you from.
“The more of those values you come to see, the more passionate for them you get.”
I wrote this the next day (while high again)
“I mentioned finding good in unlikely places, at unexpected times, and in unusual ways.
“Looking back, it seems like the religious organization I worked for was the perfect place for me to learn exactly what I needed to learn at the time. I never would have chosen a place like that to be my school; but some sort of attraction was taking place between values flashing themselves into being through me and the tools and resources I was learning to make use of.
“Does everything happen for a reason?
“Fate aside, I’m sure we can all agree that nothing happens for no reason.
“Every decision you make is between possibilities. You never make decisions completely randomly. Your decisions are effected by influences, pressures, emotional states, levels of maturity, etc.
“Going public with your real experience makes you passionate enough about your values to make better decisions.
“Despite how guilty I feel for using weed more often than I think I should, I see from what I’m preparing to share (this story) that everything in my life really isn’t falling apart. Good things I don’t deserve continue to compound and compel me, leading me beyond where I’ve always fallen short in the past.
“Will I always be in this position?
“Yes and no.
“Yes, because potential is a goal that expands forever outward in many good directions.
“No, because moving toward potential means always expanding the boundaries of all my limitations.
“Imagine your goals or values, themselves, as things desiring to exist. Consider your relationship with each of them. Your present limitations and addictions keep those good things from being able to fulfil their desire to flash themselves more to life through you.
“As you prepare to share your experience, you see the progress your goals and values have already made.
“Seeing that progress is seeing how you’ve already faced yesterday’s limitations in order to reach today’s.
“Why wouldn’t you keep going?
“When you see how for you’ve come, using willpower only to keep an open ear and prepare your experience to share, you find sufficient sustainable passion to keep going.”
Seeing your values bring themselves to life through you can spur incredible passion. Those values are all aspects of the life you want, and of the person you want to be.
Tomorrow: one of the most important and powerful components of your identity and destiny.