Three years ago, yesterday, I entered into my “third being”.
OK, that’s a bit dramatic but it really is true. My “first being” was through age 20 growing up and attending college in western Pennsylvania. My “second being” began when I moved to Chicago to begin training for ministry, subsequently spending forty-five years serving as a pastor in Illinois, Massachusetts and Indiana. My “third being” launched on June 1 of 2020, right at the outset of the pandemic.
Man, what a transition that was. Not only have I had to navigate the departure from more than four decades of a long pastoral career, but I immediately launched my next career journey with Destinyworks. Oh, and all the while, like you, struggling to make sense of what hit us with COVID. Side note: Before the pandemic had begun to take over our existence, some wise people were saying that this would be a game changing event. Check out this freakishly prescient essay written at the end of March 2020! Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization Is Now a Startup
So, my “third being” commenced with a ton of tension, ambiguity, grieving, anticipation and excitement. All the feelings.
This is what happens when we go through major life transitions.
This summer I am looking back over the last three years and making some observations. You can read my introductory thoughts here, in my blog. Today’s observations are very personal. I was not prepared for the transition from my second to my third being. I am in a good place now but, wow, it was rough. Here is what I had to do to launch the latest version of me.
I had to enter the tension between grief and gratitude for the past. I had to face the good, the bad, the ugly and the wondrous of my “second being”. Healthy but hard.
I had to accept my new reality. Having been a part of teams for many years, I suddenly found myself a sole operator of a new venture. I loved the freedom and hated the isolation. I’m good now, but many days I had to tell myself to stop whining.
I had to double down on my calling. I mean, come on, this is what I do…help people discover and embrace their destiny. I’d be a hypocrite if I neglected my own! I can say honestly that I am living my destiny, one shaped by years of living with a sense of calling. I live to guide people to their “why” and motivate them to live the best life possible to them!
Finally, I had to re-imagine the future for myself. I had to dream. These last few months I have been doing just that. In a future post I’ll go deeper into the revolution that is happening in the deepest part of me. I’ve devoted a good part of my life guiding people in the spiritual dimensions of their existence. Who knew that here, in the beginnings of my third being I’d be learning all over again about my mind, my spirit and God. Right now, I have a sense of positive anticipation about the years ahead.
A year and a half ago I wasn’t this upbeat about the new emerging me. You know, as well as I do, how a life transition can be debilitating and bewildering. It was for me. But time has been my friend, my wife and family have been stalwarts, and I have slowly come to realize that I have been living for these past 36 months in what Celtic mystics call a “thin space” where the distance between the Divine and my life has been gossamer thin. Here my third being has been born.
I wonder if there will be a fourth?