Perseverance and Our Humanness:
"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody!"
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I have been hesitant to write any new articles lately, as you may have noticed. It's not that I don't still get ideas almost hourly for an article. It's not that I don't want to write. I am not sure what it is that has caused this. For days I have been searching for the answer to what it is that is stopping me.
At first I thought maybe it was because of the Life Skills site being hacked and all the work that went into it to make it so popular. I felt as if it was maliciously taken away from me by a complete stranger. I thought maybe I was grieving that loss and didn't have the energy or will to write.
Then I thought it was my schedule which has been busier than usual. Maybe it was because I am dating a wonderful woman and spend as much time thinking of her as I do this site?
Whatever the reason, I have been thinking about this dilemma daily. I decided to use my “go-to” secret that I use to help me get unstuck. When I find myself not doing something I know I should be doing, I usually take a break and wait for the answer to come to me. I try not to force it. I have learned through many failures that if I just place the thought or question in my mind and say it a few times daily, the answer will come to me. I have learned it is a better method than forcing the answer or worrying about not having an answer.
So my question was: What will it take to revive my energy and love for writing?
This is what I have been doing lately. The answers that have been coming to me were not what I expected. It wasn't really the hacking of my site, although that played a role in it. It wasn't really the coincidence of me having a busy schedule or even my dating. It seems to come down to that deep inner voice we all have that wants to repeat the old messages we learned since childhood.
Because I have not reached the level of success I assumed would happen by now, it must mean I am a failure. Even after all the insight, education, experiences, resolutions, and growth I have gone through, I still fall victim to that message.
When I asked myself, “What would it take to revive that energy and love for writing?” I eventually had to face the questions that came back: “Why on Earth would you want to go through all this work, only to end up where you are or even worse?” “What good would it do if you build this site up like the other and it too gets wiped out?” “Isn’t this just another exercise in futility, a stroking of your ego which always lead to your disappointment?”
It was those thoughts that triggered or sparked my emotional fuel to persevere. I realized I am in a partnership with God and I must not give up. I did not come all this way to fail. I did not go through all those painful experiences in life only to give up now! Writing is my vehicle to sanity. It is what provides me with the feedback and desire to keep pushing on. It is my purpose and my connection to my God.
My goal of having a best seller is not a fantasy. It is a deep, sincere part of me that I must honor regardless of any outcome. I once told my daughter that I will become a best seller or die trying because I don’t have a choice. It is what makes me happy. It is what moves me and it is what I firmly believe I am to do.
My site being hacked was a setback but not a death toll. I have this site, my book, and myself. I must continue. I must persevere.
At the heart of perseverance is my constant prayer asking God to strengthen my gift. However, in addition to asking for this grace I must do my part as well. I must remain committed; gently and honestly facing that resistance.
Anthony de Mello, a famous lecturer, always told a great story that I think illustrates this relationship between God and us.
Toward the end of his life a rabbi was exhausted and prayed to God to let his last years be easy. He asked God to let him win the lottery. He prayed and prayed constantly about this. Weeks passed. Months passed. Then years passed. And finally he screamed out in frustration and desperation: “God, give me a break!” To which God replied, “Give me a break yourself. Buy a stupid lottery ticket!”
In my last two posts I spoke of this co-creation gift we have been given. In order to co-create, we must be in the partnership. We must be willing to do our end of the bargain too. I must be willing to face setbacks, writer’s block, laziness and most importantly: that old, chronic, inevitable message of failure. I must embrace my humanity in this relationship and understand that I bring to that relationship a lot of flaws and hurdles. It is my job to gently face them and persevere.
We are all human; we will and do experience setbacks, dreams lost, and heartaches. It is in our perseverance and relationship with God that we will achieve happiness. So like me, buy the ‘stupid lottery ticket’. Do your part and trust God to do His. I know this is the lesson I am working through, once again.
Author: stephen budd
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