I found this video on Olivia's blog and, despite Whitney Houston, I was a pile of bluthering tears before it was over! This is love. This is such true, real love. You can see it in each of their expressions, movements, touches, gestures--of both the lion and his people!
I'm posting this video here because it struck a chord in me. A deep chord. I can't really explain it, but this is what I feel when I paint dogs--this intensity of love. It is sometimes nearly enough to knock me over...or more like spill me over.
Nearly every day there is a massive number of things happening in my little world. Where should I even begin? I honestly don't know how to put words to my experiences and emotions. I wish I could explain myself better. I have never in my life moved through a time of such certainty and doubt all at once.
I am certain that this is what I should be doing right now. I am certain that I am creating from my very center and it is enough to pull me inside out and back again. I am certain that every single choice I've made and every circumstance I've ended up in has been leading me to this very place, in this exact moment in time. I am certain that to give up on this would leave me with only half a self. I am certain that I have never felt so absolutely surrounded by such deep love. It doesn't come from any specific individual or animal or anything...it just is. I am profoundly thankful for these certainties.
There has always been a part of me that has wished to invest more of myself in my life's Purpose. But I am certain that, right now, I am invested fully and completely in my Purpose. This is a staggering sensation. I feel like I am capable of even more--and sometimes I get glimpses of what that looks like. Interestingly, that "more" has nothing to do with me. That is, it has nothing to do with my ego. It has nothing to do with money. It has nothing to do with recognition or achievement or validation or any of it. It is an ever-so-brief vision and, in it, I am doing my truest work to make the world just a little bit better for even just a few beings that I meet along my path. For now, I feel like I am living my purpose to the best of my ability at this time. I am evolving. This, right here, is only as far as I've been able to manage. There's more (higher purpose) beyond this, but I'm just not there yet. And the only way I can get to that higher purpose is to continue living this strange journey.
Painting dogs is a massively unexpected bend in the path for me. I didn't expect the scenery of my life to look like this. My days are full of more energy and movement than I often know what to do with.
And yet I am struggling deeply with doubt.
I would explain that feeling of doubt a bit more...but each time I try, I end up deleting the words because they create a picture that doesn't quite fit. What is the difference between doubting yourself and doubting what you can make happen for yourself? This is the differentiation that I am struggling to explain. It doesn't have anything to do with my ability, but it has everything to do with my belief in whether or not I will be capable of making my hopes happen.
And so, these days, I am living on faith. I am living on love. I am living on sheer determination. If anyone is envious of the things that have happened for me over these past couple months I would just like to state that there is nothing to be jealous about because it has been incredibly F*@%ING hard!
Maybe I'm telling you this so that you won't give up on your own dream when the going gets tough. Maybe I'm telling you this because if you don't give up on your dream then I'm less likely to give up on mine.
I am starting to wonder how it is that I can have so many successes and still be struggling so hard to fulfill my basic needs, like paying the bills. Things will work out, they always do. But man, oh man...doubt is one tough cookie to deal with. This time it is not even my husband's doubt or my family's doubt or so-and-so's doubt...This doubt is mine--ALL mine. And self-doubt is the biggest bitch of all.
I'm not really sure what the point of this post is except maybe to remind myself that this struggle is worth it. Even if I lost all my earthly possessions, this would be worth it. But, dang, that is a scary line to walk.
When those guys released that lion into the wild, how did they know that he would survive? I can imagine how difficult it must have been for them to make that decision. But it was a decision that had to be made. I can imagine how much confusion the lion must have felt over being left in the African wilderness to fend for himself. I can imagine it because, these days, I feel a little bit like both the lion and the lion's people. I am them (the lion's people) living on some sort of risky strange faith, and the lion is what I'm capable of (he represents my fullest, highest, wildest potential).
This is my time for major and necessary change in my life. I am right smack dab in the middle of it. It is welcome, but frightening in its magnitude.
I often ask myself what, exactly, I would do if I knew I would succeed. What would my next step be? Without a doubt, my answer is always the same. Which is why, today, I have fallen in love with that lion and his friends.
What was the biggest risk you ever survived? Please tell me. Dear lion hearted friends, I want to hear your stories.