I remember when I played in my first high school football game. It was so terrifying, then exhilarating, then addictive. Other than girls, it was all I cared about for several years.
I remember my first job in Dallas / Ft. Worth. I felt small among the buildings and all the people. Work quickly became an addiction, where I struggled and succeeded.
I remember becoming a father and being totally paralyzed by fear. We didn’t have a choice, we had to do whatever was necessary to raise our children. And we did, but it was one challenging step after another.
I remember my first sermon. It was probably only about 10 minutes long and I could hardly breathe. But I got through it, I became better, and eventually I was addicted to it.
I remember leaving the pulpit as I began asking questions. No one within organized religion wanted to spend much time on the questions, so I had to venture outside the walls, read different books, and talk to other people to find the answers. It was another frightening step that I eventually learned how to enjoy.
Remember my dark night when I had the courage to go inside and began to discover the darkness that was there. I booked some time in a hermitage and met my inner child. This may have been the bravest and most productive thing I have ever done. I was finally healing.
I remember writing my first serious book. I tried to be vulnerable and explore what was unfolding before me. It wasn’t easy, but as I wrote, things became clearer. When I was able to share these stories with others, and they shared their stories with me, we all benefited from it.
I remember having my stroke. My whole left side was paralyzed. With the help of others, I took my first step once again and learned to dress myself, fix my own meals, and walk further. It has been one of the most challenging events in my life for many different reasons. And it continues.
I remember when new friends abandoned, ignored and/or betrayed me in various ways. In most cases, they were probably just pursuing their own goals, but it all seemed unnecessary and I couldn’t quite make sense of all of it all.
I remember when I started to understand acceptance. I realized it didn’t matter if I was a part of the tribe that I wanted or whether people approved of what I was doing. What mattered was that I was authentic and accepted the present for what it is.
I remember recently when I understood that I am already successful, that the universe is on my side, and spirit is with me. My only responsibility is to look forward and take my next courageous step.
Just like my very first step, none of them are easy and all of them take courage. All of our journeys look slightly different, but the road map is similar. It whispers to us:
“You can do it. Just take the next step.”
Be where you are,
Be who you are,
Be at peace!