Traveling the short distance between Henderson, where my grandmother lives with her colony of cats, to Jackson, TN, where my sister lives, I happened to glimpse over and catch sight of the sign outside a church. Many churches have these. Some of them light up to display their message, some are very tall and a man stands out there with a long handled tool to swap out the letters. I don’t remember much about the details of this one other than it was short, and said in white lettering, “Don’t be afraid to turn over the fear of an unknown future to an All Knowing God.”
Messages from The Force
My dad says that God has a way of getting his message to those who need to hear it, even through channels that don’t realize they’re carrying it. Our opinions about God my differ slightly, but he speaks truth. I’m not a religious person, and this isn’t a story about Christianity or why it is or isn’t the right religion for you. I am a spiritual person, and have spent many years searching for a connection to something bigger than me. Call it God, or whatever you want, but for me, it exists, and the message on that church sign was a reminder.
I appreciate these messages when I get them, no matter how they’re communicated. While it’s one of the more challenging for me, this Small Act is essential for my life right now, and the transitions I’m navigating. Uprooting myself from Charlottesville after a successful Eco Fair, driving nearly halfway across the U.S. to visit family, catching a flight the rest of the way to spend some time in Seattle with a dear friend, and get some face time with a couple clients, going solo while my partner in crime has his own new adventures by bike. All these things are scary to me, especially the solo part.
Getting this message from whatever it is that connects me to the underlying fabric of our existence was just what I needed. I may not know how this new chapter ends, but I’ve become much more willing to trust that fabric and try to enjoy the roller coast ride of writing it.
We can only write our own destinies
It’s a reminder that I have no power over the outcome of others’ futures either, and that handing over that fear means trusting that others choices and stories are guided by that fabric too. It’s not up to me to fix anyone’s life, place judgement, or give pity to those whose circumstances are different than mine.
It reminds me to practice the Small Act of gratitude. Almost a year ago I had no idea what my professional calling really was or whether I could truly succeed on my own as a consultant. I’m so thankful for all the support from so many people over this past year. I have a community who appreciates that my overly analytical mind results in well organized community festivals and events. That I bring unique value to the lives of others. That I care so deeply for others, and want to help them see their visions come to fruition. That I have the courage to say and believe those things about myself now.
So many feels
Finally, it reminds me to pay attention to “the feels.” The unknowns of going solo don’t mean emptiness or loneliness. It gives me the opportunity to learn what it means to be me, feel those feelings and tough emotions, and just be, while giving “my other” the space needed to be as well. I have the chance to “fill myself” with myself, and learn to trust who that is. It’s liberating and terrifying, but I’m thankful for the reminder to surrender that fear and practice being mindful, present, and enjoy the ride.