Getting From Pretty Good to Great

My daughter Teal (L) and friend Karina leap for joy.

Something powerful and subtle has been happening to my view of the world since my daughter, Teal, died a little more than a month ago. Put simply, I no longer have any tolerance for that which is ‘almost’ in life.

As in … almost good enough. Almost the right fit. Almost true. Or almost satisfactory.

Instead, what I am left with is a burning commitment to my own personal truth in a way I have never known before. So often in life, I accepted what was pretty good as I assumed I could never get what was ‘great’.

I took pretty good jobs in advertising, which was a pretty good career in that it yielded nice money and interesting travel. Despite the fact I was doing something I did not believe in at all. I clung to that career for 18 years.

And though much of my marriage was truly great, the last several years were only pretty good because I knew my sexuality was changing. I could not bear to admit that I was no longer a straight woman with some bi leanings, or that I am gay.

Instead I did what we so often do in life … I hid what was really true from myself. I clung to the beautiful past of my marriage, when my dear husband and I were so aligned; I lived in a bossy blend of sentimentality and control. But who can blame me? I was afraid.

What I know now after the wake up call of my daughter’s death is that our lives are extremely short. And furthermore, we may not be as in control of our destiny as we might think. We are only ‘players’ on a stage, as Shakespeare put it; we have our ‘exits and entrances’ and we play many parts just as life would have it.

And so we become lulled to sleep by aging and the natural progression of events, so undisturbed for so many of us. We expect to grow old, spend our pensions, find or keep our comforting love, and let our dreams and impulses die a quiet, secret death.

Oh, my dear friends. That is simply not what we are being called to do in this radical time of change; not at all.

Now we are being challenged to step forth and tell those visceral truths in life nearly all of us avoid. We are being requested to shake up the system … to, indeed, take our destiny in our own hands. To wake up and surrender to what is true – and right before us.

A few truths I’ve been observing go like this …

  1. We get fascinated by our own story. And it stops us. Our story is certainly noteworthy, and full of intriguing turns and twists. But it is only what happened once to us. And today is, indeed, a different day.
  2. We have vast creative powers, far beyond what we can even imagine. Even brain scientists humbly admit they cannot explain this. And yet, how we forget. We believe we are hamstrung by circumstance, or we buy into the pathos of the moment, or again … we sink into our story. And so we live as little souls instead of big ones. Because we forget that life is magic.
  3. Something about suffering seems noble. And yet, is it really? Why isn’t fun a deeper, higher, more glorious value? For this is when we are truly alit by God – when we are in the heart-fired experience of joy. That joy can be the simply sharing of a smile from the heart, or it can be when we are creating in the ‘zone’ and time slips away. Any and all of it counts.
  4. We forget to take glorious care of ourselves. Why should we, if our world view is that life is hard? And yet … our bodies are a gift from God. And in that body is a specific code that will tell you just what it needs to thrive in beauty, energy, and blissful good health.
  5. Our true work is easy. It is what we were wired to do from birth; it feels familiar even if we know nothing about it. And to discover it, you only need to pay attention to your desires. They will navigate you to just the perfect work in which you can tap into flow and sail easily along.
  6. You deserve a life of beauty and bliss. And so the real question is … can you stand it? Can you open your arms to yourself and receive all this joy and happiness? Can you exist in bliss? Can you give yourself exactly what you want and need?

And so it goes. The mortal coil is full of lessons for all of us at any moment. All you have to do is listen, feel and discover.




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