I believe we receive calls. But not just any calls. Calls that profoundly change the direction of our lives for good. Make no mistake, it’s not a matter of if we receive them, but when. The problem is most of us are either too distracted or too comfortable to see them, or if we do, too scared to do anything about them. The latter is a good indication by the way that it is a call. It is when your response is, “%$#@!” Then you know its a call.
And they come at the most unexpected times. Mine came while grieving over my mom’s death. A friend was coaching me through some grief recovery exercises and asked me to write her a final letter. Writing the letter was hard and at first the words came slowly, but soon flowed like a broken spigot. As I read it aloud to myself, one sentence in particular screamed back at me.
Your legacy will be my work…with myself and those around me.
I could feel the gravity of what was being called out and my heart thumped at the implications. This would not be easy.
Nor has it been. It was three years before I had the courage to step out and start doing something about it. That explains my Crazy Ivan, going from engineering and running a manufacturing company to leadership coach. And that doesn’t tell the half of it.
I am a healer.
How is that for some crazy shit! “It is what it is,” as my mom would frequently say. Healing is the essence of her legacy and I have taken up the charge to fulfill that purpose.
There have been subsequent calls and signs affirming what I am doing, but none so profound as the first. Perhaps because the first experience of letting go was so unforgettable. Once you do let go, or surrender, or submit, or yield to a higher calling, they become more recognizable when the new calls come. If they do, that is. They don’t always. Mother Teresa had only one, yet it was profound enough to change a million lives. Or more.
The sad thing is, most of us don’t do anything with them. We convince ourselves that either we couldn’t ever do what the call is telling us, or we’ll get to it when we have time, later in life when the kids are grown, or when we retire, or when the house is paid off, or when, or when, or when.
That talk is crap.
In reality, the price of responding to a call, though seemingly higher earlier in life when there are obligations involved, like a family, or a job, or a mortgage, is much less than responding to it when we are free of obligations later in life. Later in life when we are comfortable. Transformation doesn’t happen when we are comfortable.
Following a calling at a time of our choosing rarely works. Timing is everything. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward.
For most, we know what the call is. The question is, when are we going to do anything about it?