As someone who wants to express themselves authentically in the world, I sometimes get caught up in the New Age idea that if a path is really your calling, it should be easy and effortless. But often, work that is meaningful to us has inherent challenges. Writing and submitting work comes with rejections. These can be hard to deal with in themselves. But they can be disheartening at times when I subconsciously latch on to this belief that things are not working because they are not meant to work.
I recently came across a blog post on Sophia’s Children website that challenges this New Age idea that if it’s meant to be, things will automatically fall into place. In it, Jamie Walters talks about John Caputo’s writing in which he talks about the fact that any true calling will seem impossible or hopelessly obstructed, at least at times, but that “the living into it brings us to the change of heart and the renewal of mind that ultimately makes the thing or the change or the bona fide transformation possible.”
If you are struggling on a path that seems to be hard even though you are following your heart, this might be the reason – the difficulties might be inherent in the path.
This is an important idea to think about, especially nowadays when self-help books/talks seem to tell us that everything can unfold magically if we just do things in a certain way.
Well, sometimes things do happen easily. But sometimes, things are more difficult than that. Our patience is tested. We might have to surrender our ideas of control. We might be challenged again and again.
This, of course, does not mean that if we are creative people, we have to look for difficulties or put up with situations that are not a good fit for us. Creativity teacher Julia Cameron tells us that creative people can easily discount what comes naturally to us, and instead we try to be “what is not us.” In fact, we might create difficulties and roadblocks in our own path. For example: If you are a painter and painting miniatures or domestic scenes comes naturally to you, you still try to paint abstracts that do not come naturally to you. This kind of work will feel forced and will, in fact, impede creative growth. This is where you follow your own instincts, your own heart.
But as Jamie Walters says, when we are already on our own path, there still might be challenges along the way. The path might be slow, not as fast as we like. We might be slow, not as fast as we like. The path might make demands on us that can feel hard.
To me, the resonance of this thought lies in the fact that it can be so freeing. It means that when things are difficult, that does not mean that I am doing something wrong. It does not mean that I have to second guess the validity of the path. Instead, maybe the path might be asking me to challenge myself to become something more than I am right now. Maybe then, having built up more strength and muscle, the door I am looking for will appear as if by magic. But in this case, it appears only because I have done my part in getting it to reveal itself.
What do you think? Does this idea resonate with you? Does it feel like something that adds to your understanding?
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