The terror of clarity
“I don’t know what I want.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard this, I’d be sitting on beach right now waiting for a server to bring me a frosty drink with a widdle umbrella in it.
I’ve said it myself plenty. But I’m not buying it anymore. I think we DO know what we want but there are a few reasons why we feel like we don’t.
First reason? We’ve lost perspective. We’ve forgotten the big reason for WHY we want to do something. We get bogged down with the day to day and forget the dream we are pursuing. We get tired. Our emotions get the better of us. And oh, those emotions can feel overwhelming!
This is where it’s important to have community – people who can stand around you and cheer you on when you’re unsure and scared.
The other reason, I think, is this: Clarity can be terrifying. I remember a moment of clarity that Jay and I had many years ago. I can tell you where I was standing and the exact words that popped into my head. It was concerning a church we were involved with for many, many years.. Things went toxic and we knew we had to leave. But confronting that reality meant we would lose the community we had known and loved for years. It would cause us to reevaluate everything we believed in regarding spirituality.
Our very identity was threatened too.
(Looking back now, our only regret is that we didn’t dial into that clarity sooner. It was there, a niggling thought that we would swat down because it was too painful.)
When you hit midlife it is not unusual for people to have the disturbing idea that they hate their career and they want to change. I can only image how scary it must be for a dentist to jump ship to open a coffee shop. I read one story of a construction worker turned surgeon.
If you are thinking you want some things to change in your life – first get some perspective. Remember that this is ONE LIFE you get to life. Don’t you deserve to be happy and get after what you feel like you came here to do?
And finally, realize that clarity – however terrifying – is really your friend. Listen to it