There’s an old Quaker saying, “Let your life speak”. I first heard of it in Parker Palmer’s book of the same title. At first mysterious and enigmatic to me, over time it has become a large part of the process I coach people through as they seek to discover their calling…their why…in this world. I agree with Parker Palmer in his interpretation of the saying…“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you.”
The key word in that definition is “listen,” or as I say, “pay attention” to your life – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the wondrous.
Pay attention to the inspiring moments of your past. Pay attention to the mentors who spoke life into you, pay attention to the epiphanies and joys. But also pay attention to the tragedies and losses. Pay attention to the battles and pain. And even pay attention to your detractors and enemies. Name them all. Chronical them all. Add to this life examination a healthy look at your personality, skills, and passions. Then stand back and you’ll see dots starting to connect and your calling will emerge.
Recently I read a new book written by a good friend of mine, Amy Osgood, in which she lets her life speak loudly and clearly for all of us to see. It is an unvarnished look at ALL the things in her life. The good, the bad, the ugly and the wondrous!
In the book There’s a Rainbow in Every Snowflake Amy chronicles her attempts to answer the questions “Do I matter? Is anyone paying attention to me? Is it worth it?”
Amy tells the unvarnished truth about her life. There are deep painful revelations, struggles with pride and humility, wrestling with God and seasons of darkness. You will relate, I’m sure! And you will smile at the joys and wonders she experiences along the way. It is, indeed, an emotional roller coaster but well worth reading and pondering!
Kudos to Amy for letting her life speak to us even as she allowed her life to speak to herself. As she paid attention to her life, a calling emerged. I won’t give it away, but you’ll certainly see it at the end of the book. When she connected the dots of her life and finally named her destiny, I just sat back and smiled and thought “yep, that is Amy!”
Did she get an answer to her cry for significance? I’ll let her tell you…“I wanted a title and a business card. God gave me so much more. He gave me people to love. My life has not been a waste. My life has been and will be spent on those around me, and it is completely worth it . About the time my identity stopped screaming for a title, I realized I didn’t need it anymore.”
Now THAT revelation is gold! No, her life has not been a waste and neither has yours. You, like Amy, are a masterpiece!
You don’t have to write a book, but you must let your life speak! Pay attention. Capture the memories and moments. Chronicle the good, bad, ugly and wondrous. There is a destiny buried in that “hot mess” of your life.
I can’t wait till you find it!