Have you ever looked back at a situation and wondered why it happened?
It seemed entirely random and as if it served no purpose. It may have been a challenging time for you, or a deep struggle. It didn't seem to have any value. You don't remember it 'well'.
Every 'wrong' decision you think you made has gold at its heart.
I believe every circumstance will have something to give, even if its appearance isn't until years later.
Your path so far may look like a tangled mess. A stopping and starting. Several wrong turns. It's not. It's a beautiful tapestry. An intricate pattern. A section not yet complete is a lesson in anticipation. Our wildest dreams don't step in to our lives until we are ready. We never feel ready but when we look back we realise that we reached a point where we could handle that new idea. That challenge. That level of joy.
How does this tapestry begin to reveal itself?
When hardship develops your compassion
Feeling desperate, in pain and not knowing where to turn. The experience of your whole world crumbling. A sense of loss and feeling listless. This is a tough place to be. Yet, your experience, as difficult as it may be, as long as it takes you to come out of it, changes you. It gives you a whole new level of empathy. A deep understanding. You become a place of comfort because you remember. You've been there. You got through it. You’ve emerged wiser, clearer, more astute.
When random becomes the reason
The unique combination of talents and desires you have, the disparate bits and pieces that come together as you - as your 'whole', is your biggest strength. We have often been told that a CV with twists and turns 'looks bad' for an employer. But looking at your random choices as a strength can be your biggest differentiator. Steve Jobs gives us a great example with his choice to drop out of Reed College, Portland because he didn't want his parents to spend their life savings on his education. He had noticed however that all the posters, labels and other signs used beautiful hand calligraphy. Now he was no longer tied to his studies, he decided to take a class to study that historical art form. "I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating." Years later, the first Apple Mac gave the world something a computer had never had - a real choice of fonts. The fascination and ’subtle beauty’ that struck Jobs is a theme that can be seen threading through the products Apple developed, setting them apart.
When giving feels good
Knowledge of where you really shine - the place that the sweetest chord is struck. The place where what you're great at coincides with what you enjoy and that combination can help someone where they need it: this is where you give with abundance. Because love flows. If you've never felt it before, get to know yourself. Experiment. As you begin to see how working at what you love can bring huge shifts, you experience that rush of excitement through the energy you create, the joy that erupts through the situation, the process.
It is then, when you know, when you progress, however slowly towards it, it is then that you begin to see the pattern. The absolute joy of living.
In time, the tapestry reveals itself. Hindsight will show you, the present may need self-love. You may only be able to see the smallest corner and it looks all wrong, but it will come.
It will come.