So today I decided to continue writing a book I’ve been working on for over a year. It’s about Jesus and his teachings. I’m offering my own interpretation of many of his quotes from the gospels that any person might find helpful, whatever religious or spiritual tradition they may come from. I also interspersed each section with stories taken from my own life experience. I had written over 150 pages and had lots more to do. It had been a fun project that I had hoped to publish one day.
Well, you might be able to guess what happened. I searched high and low on my computer and on my thumb drives and could not find the darn thing! There remained no evidence of my work either on my old or new computers. I remained calm through this calamity, but deep inside I regretted not having the draft to work on. It’s so unlike me because I tend to make multiple copies of everything.
I had stopped writing last year after I met Jay, my spouse. Meeting Jay was a wonderful experience and I began to realize how much work intimate partnerships could be. We also decided to sell our homes and move to Florida. I thus had less time to devote to the book. Besides, as life moved on, my perspective had changed. I knew that whenever I resumed the book I would no longer be the same person who started writing it.
Having shared my previous blog on triumph in failure I, of course, had to take my own advice if I were any kind of coach. I took some time to meditate and reflect on what I really wanted in the first place. I discovered that, like so many of my projects, I wanted to write and publish a book to help people. Lurking beneath this noble cause was also a theme that pops up regularly. I wanted to get validation for who I am.
My need for validation is long-standing, but only recently have I come to realize how pervasive and clingy it is! I am working to eliminate the need. In the meantime I sensed God telling me that the book is not THAT important in the larger scheme of things. Neither are my ideas (shocking! There really are few new ideas regarding Jesus’ teachings after 2 millennia!). And my life, however fascinating I may find it in retrospect, had been fairly ordinary (even though I like to indulge in “terminally unique” thinking!).
So what’s the take-away, the gold of triumph in failure? It’s that as I examined my heart I didn’t have the passion for writing the book anymore. My triumph is to be able to let go of the book and trust that whatever was of value in it will get expressed another time, another place. I need to learn to love myself as I am without external validation, except from God. And I need to admit that a big part of possibly selling a book was to make money to augment my paltry social security check.
And so a day after my posting on the subject I was put to the test. You can expect this too. Whenever we gain insight into the way we’re thinking and acting, whenever we honestly and gently call ourselves out for being less than we really want to be in one thing, we suddenly start coming up with all sorts of examples. Such is the joy of being in the Spirit and of permitting our souls to shift in a way that shakes us up and places us on a new path to love and peace. Dare to try it!