The more we have, the more we think we are better off. I thought that way for quite some time. Actually, I still think that way, but it’s less now these days. When I was younger, it was all I gave a sh*t about. Money first, then solve every problem I will ever encounter later. Money first and never have to worry about fulfilling basic needs, providing for a family, or even myself. I’d have access to everything.
What I didn’t realize is at what cost was I willing to have access?
Everything has a price. It is how the universe works. Price does not equate to sacrificing or the act of giving up hope and dreams to pay. Price does not always mean that it is hefty and requires mortgaging everything to have. It simply means that it is a give and receives equation that guides our lives. The willingness to have access to everything meant that the universe needed something from me for the access. I thought it was giving up drinking, stop going out with friends, and enjoying entertainment. Those our society reveres as the great ones of our time who stopped at nothing to achieve their dreams discuss the cost, the sacrifice it takes to win championships, to build nine-figure businesses, to move up corporate and power ladders running the world’s largest organization. They speak of sacrifice as the ultimate key to having everything you want.
I bought into it. Stop at nothing. The burning of the midnight oil. The skipping of parties to work on moving up the ladder for more money, more power, and responsibility. This is what I believed was the cost. And I was dead wrong.
The cost I once thought to have access was not that of physical sacrifice or declaration of my allegiance to hustle culture so prevalent in America. It was not stopping personal engagements or sit in a dark room with the blinds shut and pounding away at a keyboard. It was none of that. It was simply surrendering. It was surrendering to helping, sharing, writing out of pure emotion and feeling in hopes someone reading this would find help. It was surrendering to helping people and allowing myself to bleed out on a post like this without judgment or fear of worry.
In return, I would be provided for. I use to subscribe to this when I was first starting out. I’d write from pure emotion, pure energy of what was happening in my life. A lot was happening then. I was bouncing from job to job. I was pissed off at myself for not doing more or being much further ahead than where I was in my work and career. I moved a lot and I was constantly learning from mistakes that I made. That drove me to write more and share more. And I loved it oddly enough.
And then doubt started to creep in with my writing when things became more stable. Money started coming, I had more responsibilities and I was no longer pissed off at myself or the world. I actually became more worried about keeping everything together.
And I stopped writing. The writing wasn’t important anymore. Even though it was such a cathartic practice for me, such an alleviation of the emotion I felt when things were not going well in my life, I stopped doing it because I was more focused on money, on access than I was on writing to help myself and help someone else.
At the midway point to my 38th birthday, I forgot what it meant to write. I forgot that gratefully, God has provided for me. I forgot what it meant to write in emotion, to write in service. Doubt never crept in when I did. The past couple of days, I have felt that safe haven to surrender, to let the words flow on paper. To leave nothing to fear but to give it all every time I sit to write. And damn, does it feel good to just write from surrender.
And there lies the lesson: When you don’t feel like you’re enough, surrender to the faith that you are enough and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.