The other day a man I admire asked me an unnerving question. With the same whimsical look that is always on his face, he asked, “So what are you working on?”
In the ideal world, I would have had a handful of impressive and important things at the ready. But in the actual world, I felt immediate panic. The pin wheel on the screen of my mind was spinning and spinning but nothing was opening up. I couldn’t think of one actual thing I was working on that felt important. I was struck with the immediate need to be brilliant but also to appear humble.
The answer that came out of my mouth was more like eggs that had been scrambled a bit too long – dried out and crumbly, they didn’t hold together. I honestly don’t remember what I said. I do remember that I was trying really hard to impress him.
In that moment, I was living as if I had to be doing something other than what I was actually doing in order to be important. Yet his look said something utterly different. He didn’t actually care about what I was working on. He just cared about me. And the spell was broken.
Do you have anyone like that in your life?
With one look, he gave me permission to live my actual life, in the actual universe, where I actually exist. He pulled the rug out from under the ideal world. The ideal world is illusory. It’s making the impression, sealing the deal, saying it right, being the rock star, giving or being the perfect whatever. It’s exhausting.
This blog is about my journey of learning to see and embrace my actual life.
What are the ways in your life that you live as if, instead of as is?