When I took off to Spain this summer with my wife Terri to serve the Edge Project for an entire month — I left with unending hope hidden in my heart.
I hoped to learn from the students I came to serve and it was my deepest desire that something I brought to the table from my life experience would not fail to inspire.
Although I cannot quantify the latter, I did learn something incredibly valuable from the group of students there, many who came to the Edge Project from all over the United States. I learned that living in community together takes patience, it takes time to develop along with the ability to listen and invest with an open heart.
I realized that I must be willing to quiet the noise of my own judgements and opinions in order to hear the passion and heartbeat of another. It takes risk, something that's easier said than done.
Since coming back home to Seattle in August, with my fond memories of Spain now far off in the horizon, I am realizing that my desire to inspire was unwittingly left behind in baggage claim. I did not understand that until this very moment, as I woke this morning at 5:55 am with a new clarity of purpose.
While I'm not certain exactly how I lost sight of my true north – I now see that my passion to inspire, encourage and cheer on others to conquer giants along with their fears is the very blood that keeps my heart beating.
When did I forget how to love dangerously? How did I lose sight of my mission and begin to bow to the fear of failure — the pain of rejection?
When the voice of self doubt began to capture my thoughts and the noise of fear began to raise its volume in my head, I froze — I was stuck in a house of mirrors.
Author Seth Godin spoke about the best way to get unstuck in this way:
"This is precisely why you're stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way."
"The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now. Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can't help but improve, can't help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star." Godin says.
Getting unstuck now seems so simple, because I'm free to do it all wrong – free to awkwardly stumble on my way back to finding true north. I'm willing to not see the ideal end in sight.
More than anything, I want each day to matter again – to not take my life for granted as I sink down into my big leather chair feeling numb and perfectly useless.
Sometimes we are the last ones to know that we've lost our way – the last ones to know how desperately we've needed a lifeboat.
In the end – you win some and you learn some. I’ve found the love that's been lost.