“I had a glimpse into the life…the person I wanted to be and I was afraid I could never be that.” – Umberto Crenca, Founder AS220
This quote expressed in a powerful story I heard during BIF10, struck me deeply. In a moment of clarity and vision, Umberto saw what he was meant to do and who he was meant to be. Beyond this recognition, he experienced the intense emotional pain that came with knowing the path he was on, the life he had accepted until that moment, would never lead him to that place. He had to make a choice.
This choice. This terrible, life-altering, difficult and beautiful choice.
To see beyond the expectations and obligations placed upon our lives by others, or ourselves, into a life we know we were meant to live. Once we have this vision in our head it haunts us. We may decide “stay the course” or “be responsible”, but the vision will reappear, time and time again. We try to negotiate, set conditions, skirt the border of our vision but we know deep inside the only way to get there is to go all the way, to embrace it fully and trade what we have to go where our heart leads us.
Our life. Our one life.
Can we look fully, unflinchingly on our calling and deny it? So many do. That’s why those who follow their vision become a source of inspiration. We see in their lives what is possible for us. Their stories are filled with wrong turns, false starts and hard experiences, but we never hear them say…”I wish I had stuck to the original plot”.
Every day we have this choice.
We can know what we know. We can honestly evaluate our direction and pay attention to what makes us come alive. We can open our eyes to what is possible and to who we were meant to be and accept the truth. We can wrestle with the choice and seek the courage to act. Then move forward, one step at a time or in a giant leap.
Or we can pretend we do not know, make reasons to stay where we are, and try to squeeze some joy out of our quiet desperation. Eventually, the vision will fade, revived occasionally by an unexpected encounter but quickly returned to the hiding place where we keep it safe for someday.
What will you do with your beautiful choice?
This post was originally published in September 2014. As I was reflecting on these thoughts recently I felt compelled to repost them on my new blog in the hope that they will inspire someone who is facing a difficult decision or at a crossroad in their life.