Four years ago I read the following passage in a wonderful book by John O’Donohue. My heart leapt as I read it and tears welled in my eyes as I sought a change in venue. I longed for something different but was afraid of it too. I printed this and put it on the wall of my office and within eight months I was to leave and begin a new life filled with uncertainty and wonderful surprises.
In out-of-the-way places of the heart, Where your thoughts never think to wander, This beginning has been quietly forming, Waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire, Feeling the emptiness growing inside you, Noticing how you willed yourself on, Still unable to leave what you had outgrown. It watched you play with the seduction of safety And the gray promises that sameness whispered, Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent, Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled, And out you stepped onto new ground, Your eyes young again with energy and dream, A path of plenitude opening before you. Though your destination is not yet clear You can trust the promise of this opening; Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning That is at one with your life’s desire. Awaken your spirit to adventure; Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk; Soon you will be home in a new rhythm, For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
O’Donohue, John (2008-03-04). To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (p. 14). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
I have found ease in risk and my life has found a new rhythm and it continues to grow in each day. I was thinking this morning how birth pangs invite us to new opportunities. Pain is the touchstone of progress. Without it we would be mired in unfulfilling work. These days I spend much of my time volunteering, learning new skills, writing and teaching. An old friend used to say, “don’t despise the negative.” We cannot have positives without negatives.