on a need to know basis…
May 22, 2012
After the Oprah article hit there was a swirl of energy, the kind of swirl that turns you upside down and you start imagining all kinds of things. Book agents reached out, a TV show producer wrote, all kinds of lovely and dear people filled my inbox with stories and interest.
I started to believe that I was on a new track, that the fairy godmother of goodness herself had come down to make kindness big, big, BIG! I felt grateful, overwhelmed and humbled…and I braced myself for what was to come. …and then, it just sort of never came. Time between communication started to grow longer and longer. I got a little crazy starting to check my e-mail 42,000 times a day, rereading my exchanges…
Was that too forward?
Did I sound weird?
Oh God! It is so obvious how crazy I am! They wanted less crazy, less passionate, more normal.
I am so not smooth or cool, my brand is hilariously real, not polished at all.
And after awhile, this got so tiring that I went back to the thing I love and realized that I had the same exact feeling planning a kindness campaign in my alley with my garbage men that I did when I got the call I was going to be in O Magazine- the rush, the excitement, the thrill.
This feeling would last until the next kindness project was over, or there was a quiet moment, or a new opportunity fell through again…the thoughts would creep in again. I was confused because while the big doors were closing, everything in the grass and roots was beautiful and thriving.
All the places in my everyday kindness world were rockin’…hard. It was almost as if while I was losing my way there for a bit, waiting for the one shot, the small was getting deeper and wiser, despite my doubt and uncertainty…somehow my heart was still winning. How could that be? How could things be going so well and I feel so off at the same time?
I kept thinking, “If I just knew what it was, what I am missing, what track I am on, I can fix it, course correct, fix myself or accept it…this thing is worthy of all that.”
And then one day, out of the blue I got an e-mail…from one of those dear people I met as a result of O Magazine…a friendship that had grown over letters exchanged with sweet Lisa, she had become a bonus mother and mentor and yet we’ve never even met in person. I didn’t ask her for advice, there was no great drama that day but her words came like a salve of understanding over everything, the wisdom that made the pieces finally fit…
Just have faith in that, trust that what you are doing is exactly right. The “how” is none of your business because as you trust the “what” (being and spreading kindness in our world) the how will come to you on a need to know basis. Kind of like traveling a road in the middle of the night. Your (flash)Light can only shine so far along the path. But you keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that the path will reveal itself as your light reaches it.
My heart was instantly shifted. It had never occurred to me that I was on a “need-to-know” basis with the universe…that maybe I am not supposed to know at all or that it isn’t my job to try to figure it out. My light right in front of me is all I need and that it will grow stronger and brighter if the path ahead requires it.
That thought was so freeing yet totally frustrating at the same time for the girl who wishes she could control it all, work harder, do whatever it takes. …and here we are at a gentle surrender again…
…because the “what” is my love, it always makes sense even if it’s hard or unclear, and I know how to follow it. I can wake up and do that everyday. I am already doing it, it is enough. Kindness doesn’t need me or my crap to be together to make an impact on the world.
Maybe it was never meant to be so complicated. Maybe you are meant for something but the how is none of your business and your heart just needs to get completely lost in the what. Maybe the unknown is a kind gift, making space for the greater joy and all that already is and is to come.
Are you sweatin’ the unknown today? or wishing the light was brighter in front of you? Feel free to tell us about it or offer your words of wisdom or hope in the comments.