There are times in life when you have a conversation with someone that just wakes you up. You may have heard something a million times before, but when the time is right, something clicks in your mind. Maybe it’s also that as we get older we get more comfortable with who we are. We know what feels right for us and we know what we have to do. It’s easier to see when something feels off. In speaking with an employee the other day, I knew something was wrong. We talked about it and she asked me if I’d ever considered becoming a therapist. My immediate response was, “Every day.” Now, several years back, I was working with another gentleman who had some difficulty in our work environment and one of my coworkers asked if I’d ever considered going into social work. At THAT time, I took offense to it. The implication seemed to me that I couldn’t do my job. Hearing this question again and after several years of working on development, it makes sense to me.
Sometimes the revelation doesn’t hit like lightening. Sometimes it spills out of your mouth in response to a question that caught you off guard. I’ve often thought of those moments as more natural. When you don’t have time to feel the emotion or create the thought, the response that comes out tends to be the most honest. What we do with those moments is another story. We can choose to ignore them or we can respond with, “That’s interesting. What does this mean?” I have often thought about how sad it is that we aren’t taught to follow that inner line of questioning. If we took the time to answer that more often, we may find ourselves in a different situation. We may find ourselves closer to our truth.
In this case, I’ve decided to take the latter question and figure out what this means. There is a calling in each of us to help in some way. Some people want to be on the front lines, cleaning up, organizing, fighting. Some people want to be in the background making sure those who support the front have the tools they need. Then there are others who want to ensure the human is ok. There are some of us who want to remind people at all costs of their humanity. It isn’t about pointing out flaws or weakness. No. It is about identifying those pieces of ourselves that need to ignite in order to share our real purpose. It’s about rediscovering and reconnecting with authentic purpose. The only way to do that is to be in touch with who we are.
If someone asks you a question and you find yourself answering in a way that surprises you, that is something to get curious about. That isn’t something to ignore. Following the path will get you the answers you need and sometimes that path comes in unexpected ways. I’ve said it a million times: we are not all cut out for the same thing. Period. We have abilities that are meant to be explored and shared and, quite frankly, used as reminders of what is really important. We are in an amazing age and we have nearly limitless capacity to change the world. The question is, what do we want it to look like. In my heart of hearts I can’t believe that anyone truly wants to destroy anything (although destruction is far easier), but we won’t find the real path to a common ground until we remember our humanity. I’m not naïve enough to believe that everyone will come together in a grand awakening, but I am hopeful enough that words and questions will be enough to start igniting and renewing that curiosity. Imagine that.