Purged of hope and ego.
Fix your attention on the soul,
Act and do it for me.
from "The War of Art"
The following is an excerpt from an email I wrote to my best friend Friday morning while I was on the train headed to a competition...
... I just finished that book and while some didn't resonate completely, the last page totally did. Do your work as an offering to God. Not for any other reason or to gain anything from it. I do my part and He does His. And after I'm done with my part, I don't worry about it. The fruits of our labor are not what we have control over. He's given me these talents and this purpose and my job is to do my very best and leave it at that. Oh how simple and yet complex. I don't know... That's just what spoke to me based on what I'm dealing with right now. Life is so complicated, hard, unfair, stressful...but it's really not. I just make it that way. I care so much but maybe I'm caring in the wrong way...
I wanted to share that bit of personal correspondence for a few reasons. For starters, it's very honest. It wasn't written as a blog post I wanted to share with people and make sure was worded just right or had some deep insight attached to it. Also, it was written before my competition. So, in hindsight I can tell you the difference it made in my soul and not just have this break thru moment after I happened to have a good jump on friday.
This past month has been a crazy roller coaster of emotions for me. But I feel like since I read the last page of that book I've turned my corner. And whether that turn continues to produce good jumps or not is inconsequential in terms of the bigger picture. It's centered me again and reminded me of what I believe in my heart to be true.
I believe very strongly about the purpose and meaning of our lives and what we are supposed to do with our gifts and talents. As I grow older, it becomes so much clearer to me... And yet. And yet I still lose sight of that when I hold on too tightly to the fruits of my labor. I don't leave everything on the field, so to speak, I hold on to it and let it validate things that aren't true. And I begin to let the emotions of all of that get the best of me.
I know plenty of people might not agree with these sentiments completely. You can be a professional athlete and be motivated by fame or fortune or even certain accomplishments that you believe will define your career. But for me, even though I don't think I necessarily need to let go of my goals or aspirations, I want to operate from a place of feeling like I'm giving back to the place where the gifts came from. An offering. I want to let go of my ego, do the work to the best of my ability, and give it back to Him. The idea of that makes me happy and feels me with a deeper joy than I have been experiencing as of late, and for that I am grateful.