“If I was in spirit before I was born,” my ten-year-old asks, “and I’m gonna go there when I die, why don’t I remember?”
I look into the rear view mirror at his questioning eyes. I think it’s the meditative hum of the road that invites these conversations.
“That’s a really good question,” I say, thinking about my reply. “Maybe, if we remembered our true selves and we knew that our souls were eternal energy, and no harm could ever come to them, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge to be here. Life would be way too easy.”
I look back at him to see if he’s buying. As he gazes out the window, his wheels are cranking.
“It’s kinda like my video games,” he says finally. “The first time I play a new one, it’s really hard. It’s so frustrating not knowing where I’m going or what’s ahead. I have to do a lot of the same things over and over.”
“Yeah, you’re just figuring it all out,” I say, marveling at his metaphor.
“The second time through is still cool because I’m better at it,” he says. “I know where some of the prizes are and stuff. The times after that are pretty good too.”
I like where he is going with this. Although I think I know what his answer will be, I ask anyway. “So which time is the most fun?”
He turns to look at me in the mirror and says without a hitch, “Oh the first. I don’t know the ending and it’s the hardest. But it’s the most fun.”
The road smiles along with me as I nod in agreement. “Pin the Tail on the Donkey would be nothing without the blindfold,” I add. “Marco Polo would be really easy if you didn’t keep your eyes closed.”
For years, being a dwarf felt like a curse. The early arthritis added insult to injury. Somewhere along the way, I decided one thing; rather than treat my circumstances as a misfortune, I’d see them as sacred choices made by my soul. Nothing was quite the same after that.
What if our souls, with complete amnesia, dared to step into a fleshy earth costume, a full-body blindfold, and take a swing at the treasure? We knew we’d have to grasp along in the bitter blackness, half-asleep, trying to recall a distant, dazzling light. There would be endless distractions, lies and losses. But there would be a godzillion more laughs and loves.
It’s a glorious underdog tale. A heroine’s journey. The mother of all Olympics. Our life challenges are the stuff that great movies are made of.
And if we knew the ending, it would kinda spoil the show.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ~Andy Rooney
It takes a lot of faith when the going gets tough. Three years ago, I started a whole new career at age 47. My memoir turned into a business – the business of speaking, leading workshops and trying to figure out what I offer this world and what to charge for it. It’s been mind-boggling and heart-hammering.
I have two boys at home who need plenty of attention, time and love. And I’ve got a reluctant body with arthritis to work around. When I add in the promotion, marketing and sales, well, somedays I feel like a goner. Incapable. Not enough. Never as good. (Yup that old story…)
But any gargantuan adversity is not here by chance. It’s a mayday call from spirit that there’s more to be unraveled. It keeps us on our toes, awake and aware. We’re capable of much more than we imagine.
Whatever challenges you’re facing right now are meant to bring you back to your true self. Back to the strength you’ve always had. Back to your radiance.
I like to believe that we signed onto this life from a place of deep courage. From an unbreakable Love and an unstoppable soul. Our Light shines in every direction we turn. We’re here to remember the Love we were born to forget.
So grab hold. Own the obstacles. Accept the assignment and commit to the challenge. Open your eyes wide and shake off the amnesia, and remember; there’s no where in spirit where you can get this kind of up-close, gripping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of drama.
This is the exact adventure you came for: to find out for yourself that you had the power all along.
Tomorrow you’ll forget all this. No problem. It’s part of an amazingly soul-filled video game that you were born to win.