Have I written about faith before? (Sorry, I can’t help the sweet sarcasm!) I know I have. I know I’ve mentioned that faith becomes most apparent when we take the leap from security, routine, and stability and plunge into unchartered territory. Often this happens when we act on our intuition, trying to follow our hearts, trying to live into what we perceive as our “call.”
Well, my friends, we’ve taken that plunge and have been free-flying for a few months now. There are a few things we have learned thus far.
- If you thought you knew how you would react if you “failed,” prepare to be wrong. I expected to be bitter, angry, resentful if we spent all our savings and extended our credit to its outer limits. Thankfully, for the sake of the family, I’m not. Also, perception of failure is a tricky thing. Our greatest success in this venture is probably our change of perspective, our new understandings.
- Expect most of the growth to be within. As mentioned above, most of the changes we have experience are that of understanding, perspective, appreciation and joy. Our relationships deepened. What makes our life most rich has become apparent.
- Attachments are attachments. Mainly I mean attachments to material things. We get attached to having the biggest and best, fancy this and highest quality that. We have to let go of some things, deciding what is best for us individually and as a whole — a whole family and a whole world. We learn what we can live without, and we learn what is truly worth the effort for quality. Mostly, we want a quality life; this doesn’t always mean we have a top-of-the-line hi-def t.v. “Live simply that other may simply live” applies to us all.
- You never go back to where you were before. Even if our daily routine looks the same as it was six months ago, it’s not. Even if my husband goes back to a “desk job” (in quotes because technically he’s been working at a desk in his “time off”), he’s going back with his new understandings, renewed or even new appreciation. Once we’ve attained a new level of understanding, once we know something as true, we can’t un-know something. In time, I’m sure this new level will open other doors for growth as we continue to learn more about the life we live.
- Don’t underestimate your time. Be realistic about your needs. Keep track of the bills. Know how much debt you’re willing to accumulate, how much money it takes to live. We’ve not been very good about this, honestly. The lessons above were learned in enough time that we could have returned to the work status of before, before a financial crisis hit. Be aware of this. Give yourself a cushion, and if not, be willing to face the consequences.
- Take responsibility. We choose our way individually. If we don’t necessarily have control of our environment and what happens, we have the choice on how we respond. As in my first point, I thought I would choose to be angry if this business venture didn’t succeed at the rate projected. When it became apparent that deadlines and projections weren’t being met, I had a choice. For my own benefit and for the benefit of those around me, I choose love.
These are just a few of the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve taken flight. It’s been an experience, a defining moment in our lives. I know that in this past year, I have been pulled, if not called, deeper into my true nature. Part of the magic of the leap may be that we get a clearer glimpse of what the kingdom of heaven is like, through the lens of faith and trust.