So many of us cannot give of ourselves authentically because we are wasting our energy on activities that aren’t good for us.
“Soul-sucking job” is now a cliche, as is “toxic relationship.” We’re spendings millions of dollars on degrees we never use. Addiction statistics have reached absurd levels, and doctors in the US look at us funny if we say we aren’t taking any prescription meds. Netflix binging is the latest family value, and “healthy” can be used as an insult.
There are so many unnecessary demands and distractions in our lives, it’s a wonder any of us ever discover and cultivate our talents. It’s such a shame, because we all have them.
No matter who we are, we all have talents. And the truth is, it doesn’t really matter what they are. We don’t have be naturally inclined to music or sports or art or computers or sales…even though that’s what society seems to be telling us.
Whatever our talents are, they are meant to be used to help the world.
Whatever makes us feel good about ourselves is what we are meant to do.
A common misunderstanding of this is the difference between pride and superiority. We are supposed to be proud of who we are. Healthy pride is the result of doing something that reflects our soul’s desires. Hubris or superiority is the result of defining our value against the devaluation of others. We may gain something from superiority, but we are guaranteed to lose much more.
Most of us do not use our energy wisely. Like everything else, energy has become commoditized, something that can be bought and sold and squandered or used to distract us for a few minutes. It comes in a can, after all, or a paper cup with a logo on it.
We’ve lost sight of the fact that our energy is the expression of who we are. We cannot give authentically or expect to receive the blessings meant for us if we are wasting ourselves on jobs, relationships, or activities that do not feed our spirits.
We want more because we are capable of so much more that we are doing.
The more we suppress our spirits, the more they push back against our skin, trying to get out. Each of us has a perfect design, composed of inclinations and abilities–ways of being, doing, creating, and loving–that do not go gentle into that good night. Our truest desires can become our greatest fears, our most crippling anxieties if we deny them.
That’s how we build our own cages. Then once we’re in our own cages, we’re easy prey for others to put into theirs.
Wasting our desires and talents, we find ourselves wanting more out of life. So we consume more of the things we’re “supposed” to want, what they say we want. But we don’t really want them. What we want is for our lives to have meaning.
The meaning of life is not measured in materials or public opinion.
A job may appear prestigious, but if it is not right for us, we will be wasted in it. The right job may appear unstable and risky, but when we do what we are meant to do, we find we are supported exactly how we need to be.
A couple may look poster-perfect, but if we don’t make each other happy, then we’re hurting ourselves and the people we are actually meant to be with. When we are truly in love, every minute is meaningful.
The thing is, when we are wasting ourselves, what we want seems impossible.
When we aren’t, we know what we want is possible.
There never has been, and never will be again, anyone quite like us. We are not meant to deny parts of ourselves or be anything we’re not. We are not here to waste our energy, to waste our lives.
We are here to learn, to grow, to live, love, and give…
As exactly who we are.