Do you feel called to something new, but don’t know what? Confused about your next steps? Feeling uncertain about how to move forward?
You are not alone! I’ve learned through hard-won wisdom that confusion and uncertainty are key ingredients for growth. By opening to them, new life emerges.
It is definitely uncomfortable but giving birth always is.
For example, confusion led to the birth of Well for the Journey. Twenty years ago my life looked great from the outside. I was happily married, raising three healthy children, and practicing law with great colleagues. Yet, inside questions persisted: What is this discontent and yearning that’s gnawing at me? How do I best use my gifts and share my talents for the greater good? Where is God in the nitty-gritty of daily life? Are there others like me who wonder too?
My questions led me to develop practices such as journaling, making quiet time, and listening for Divine guidance. I sought out spiritual companions to help me listen, widen my perspective, and encourage my next steps. I leaned into curiosity and tried to trust that the “to-do’s” would unfold.
In due time, I connected with others and formed a new place, a new community, that made space for people to ask questions, tend their spiritual selves, build relationships, and live better lives. My confusion sparked curiosity. I learned how to lean on God’s guidance.
Confusion and uncertainty were necessary conditions for a new place to be born. It’s grown into a place that serves many and transforms lives in ways that I never could have imagined.
Our minds love certainty. It’s part of our human instinct. Our egos are wired to be in control of our own agendas. We make up our minds and plow ahead, often without seeking guidance from a power greater than our small self.
It takes practice (lots of it!) to relax. To be OK in our uncertainty. To seek guidance. To patiently wait. Oh, that patience part is ridiculously hard!
Now uncertainty and confusion have returned as I explore a new sense of call. I desire to help people live with peace, empowerment, and even joy as they live out the final chapters of life. Blending my legal and spiritual care expertise, I imagine facilitating meaningful and necessary conversations about end of life matters so that people can choose what matters to them. Then advocating for them as needed. I wish to alleviate unnecessary suffering that often occurs because people don’t have the courage to face death and articulate their desires and plans.
I’ve had exploratory conversations with key people, led workshops, assisted loved ones, and taken small steps to shake out what this might look like. How do I move forward with this? What does this look like? What’s next?
In quiet, while seeking guidance, I came across this passage: “She wasn’t sure what to do next, and she was in the uncomfortable phase of gestation that requires awaiting further instructions.” (Lisa Rankin, Anatomy of a Calling).
Yes! Perfect description! Gestation is the developmental period between conception and birth. Looking back at my literal and metaphorical pregnancies, there was discomfort, uncertainty, waiting. Birthing takes time.
Confused? Uncertain? That’s OK! You are not alone. Lean into it. Be curious. Keep listening. Keep looking for guidance that will make itself known to you.