Have you ever been in one of those situations where you were surrounded by people but you still felt totally alone? For me it was sitting my car waiting for an I45 N freeway to move faster than 5 miles an hour…when this gut-wrenching feeling hit. This feeling that something is wrong…and wrong in a big way. Wrong in such a big way that I knew I was either going to break down in tears or pound my fists against the steering wheel.
Guess which one I choose?
If you think I cried (because I am a woman and that’s how women are seen as reacting) … you are wrong. I pounded the steering wheel as hard as I could.
NOTHING IMMEDIATELY COMES TO MIND
Nothing immediately came to my mind as to “why” I was experiencing this feeling. So I do what I knew had usually worked at other times. I went down the checklist of my life:
Nothing came to mind. Yes, there were the day-to-day problems that are just part of living. But nothing of a major scale that would warrant feelings at this level. So I had to check “ok” by each area.
I REALLY WANTED TO IGNORE “THE FEELING”
I really wanted to ignore “the feeling” and just mark it as an aberration. But now that “the feeling” had broken through to my conscious mind I could not get rid of it. Oh, it wasn’t there as big and overwhelming anymore. But it was there in my chest, this nagging sense of unsettledness. (When my clients talk about the label they put on this feeling, they use words like sadness, boredom, feeling numb or disconnected.)
I wrote ‘unsettled’ on a piece of paper … and just looked at it … thought about it … and asked God to show me what in the world all this was about.
There have been times that the answer comes immediately or almost immediately. I do not hear God’s voice – in the sense of audible spoken words. But I get a sense of what the answer is. That was not the case this time.
GOD DOES NOT ANWER
When God does not answer … what do you find yourself doing?
I have to admit the truth here … that waiting on God would not have been my answer earlier in my life. I am a “fixer” by both nature and experience. In the past I would “fix” whatever the problem was … even if it meant shoving a square peg in a round hole. Yes, it was “fixed” … but ultimately that square peg popped out … and there I was again.
To quote Albert Einstein: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome” is insanity.
That was me before I learned to stop … to wait on God … and continue to ask Him to show me what I need to know … what I needed to do.
IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS HE DID
And in the course of the next couple of weeks He did just that.
I helped a new client buy an apartment complex and started the transition and turn around process. But I realized that “I could do this in my sleep” … I had done this for decades – because I was very good at it.
I recognized that doing the same thing that I had been doing was no longer much of a “challenge”. “Challenge” seemed to be part of the answer.
At that point I was leaning toward ‘doing something new’. An opportunity came along that was ‘new’. I was asked to be the subject matter expert for a financial fund that wanted to invest in real estate. That was new. That was a great opportunity.
BUT SOMETHING WAS OFF
But yet … something was off. There was no passion associated with this. So passion seemed to be another part of the answer.
At that point I had ‘challenge’ and ‘passion’ …
AND THEN “IT” CAME
And then it came … ‘it’ being the insight that I had been missing. “It” was a different perspective. A different perspective that came out of the Celebrate Recovery ministry. This ministry helps people heal from the hurts, habits and hang ups they have and are experiencing … and changes the trajectory of their lives.
THE “IT” WAS.
The ‘it’ part of the insight was as realization that this purpose went way beyond a specific ministry. The purpose God had put me (and I believe everyone including you) here on this earth for was to be a legacy builder … to impact others’ lives (positively) … lives that we will not be here to see the end of … lives that will affect others’ lives.
“The need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.” Stephen R. Covey
What do you think? Can you see yourself as a legacy builder?
BUT it was clear to me that this purpose was not designed to be confined to just traditional ministry … but that purpose is intended to be play a bigger part in my whole life.
The question on the table became: how am I going to live out this purpose within all aspects of my life … within my home / family … within my relationships with friends … within my business … and generally within the world?
And this question brought me to a place where the emptiness was replaced with passion...a passion for what...that I wasn’t so sure about.
What I did and what I have passed on to my clients is a strategy … a process through which to start this adventure. It starts with asking some hard questions:
What situations/life conditions/problems really makes me angry?
What situations/life conditions/problems really touch my heart?
What can I spend hours and hours talking about?
I have to tell the truth … I don’t have all of this figured out yet. This is a work in progress. But it is a challenging and exciting adventure, one I will continue to share with you as we get to know each other better.
I have shared what I did when I recognized that empty feeling.
What do YOU think?
What are some things people do when they feel empty?
And/or what’s something that people can do to find some things they’re passionate about?