This past week was my eldest daughter’s graduation from year 10. After a long service, the last speaker was their year Coordinator, the students’ go-to guy who has guided them through their high school years. He has a large physical presence and all of the kids like him because he’s fun and jokes around. But at graduation his message was simple, serious and surprising for the students: Choose Love.
As you can imagine, there was a great amount of giggling from 15 and 16 year old girls and boys when a big, burly male teacher told them to choose love. But as he elaborated his point, he told them that many times in the future they will be enticed and influenced by friends, other people like employers or colleagues, college teachers, university professors and even their parents. Everyone will have a point of view on what they should study or what career path they should have or what they should do with their life. But he encouraged them to search their own hearts and follow the passion they found there. To follow their dreams. To create a full, rich life for themselves by choosing what they love.
I loved his message to the students as it’s the same message I’ve been telling my tribe, my kids and most importantly, myself.
Too often we choose a path because we think we ‘should’. Or because that’s what others are doing. Or because someone else told us to or expected us to do something.
It takes courage to stand up for yourself, to love yourself enough to back yourself and follow your own dream.
But as I said in my last post, every choice comes down to one of love or fear. Too often, what seems like the easy choice is one based in fear. Fear that if I quit my job, I won’t have any money. Fear that if I leave my marriage, I will be alone. Fear if I change my job, I won’t be qualified enough, good enough, smart enough, to get another one. Fear that if I give my kids some ‘tough love’, they’ll hate me. Fear that I’m getting too old to follow my dreams.
No one is too old to change their life and follow their dreams.
Change IS hard. And as human beings we are wired to resist change for some reason. We hate upsetting the status quo, even if there is the possibility that something better could come from the change.
It’s times when it is hard to change that I think about this quote: “You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.”
All it takes is one step, one decision, to change your whole life.
One step, one decision, changed my whole life. I made the decision to finally listen to my heart. To listen to my intuition. To believe in myself.
That one decision has impacted many, many more things in my life and I now have a totally different life than the one I lived three years ago.
Not only is it different, it is better.
I wake up in the morning happy with myself. Knowing that no matter what happens today, I am enough and I have the strength, courage and wisdom to make it through.
I know I am surrounded by love.
I am open to new opportunities and meeting new people. And the right people keep showing up in my life at exactly the right time.
I have less material stuff. But I live more fully.
I have joy, contentment and most of the time have an inner peace that I didn’t even know existed three years ago.
Sure, I still have bad days, but when they happen, I have the time and curiosity to figure out what is bothering me. Almost always, it’s based in fear. Fear that I need to change something else in my life. Fear that somehow I’ll come up short in some way – short of courage, short of money, etc.
And it’s those times when I need to remind myself of how far I’ve come. Remind myself of the decisions I made in love instead of fear and how well they’ve turned out. Remind myself to choose love over fear. Remind myself to get quiet and still and that the answers will come from my heart/my gut/my intuition.
Then all I have to do is take that first step and see where it leads. I don’t need to have a destination in sight or even in mind. All I need to do is take a first step that is based in love for myself and it can’t lead me wrong. Besides, life is about the journey and not the destination anyway.
I hope my daughter and her classmates remember the message that they were given this week. I’d like to think that it will stick with them and they will remember it throughout their life. But that really isn’t how life works, is it? We seem to need to have messages like ‘choose love’ drilled into our heads over and over and over before we pay attention.
Each and every choice we make along the journey changes things and creates the rich tapestry of our lives. We just all need to remember that we’re just one decision away from a totally different life.