Too late? Too soon?
In his book called the Alchemist, Paul Coelho discuses several instances where people fail to pursue their gifts and talents whilst they still can. He talks about the dangers of settling for less and making decisions concerning life based on what other people think not what you were created to do. He touches on the lamentations of the crystal merchant who had regrets for the things he hadn’t done when he was younger. Upon coming across Santiago, a young boy with courage and determination to pursue his personal legend (dreams) the crystal merchant reflected:
…every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don't want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons that I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I'm going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don't want to do it.
Just like the crystal merchant, many people will have moments of seeing the light and experiences of hope that nothing is impossible upon coming across those in pursuit of happiness. Instead of choosing to act on the word, they wallow in self-pity and sorrow because…it’s just too late. Too soon. Too old. Too broke. Too young. Too damaged; the past hasn’t been kind. All sorts of excuses will be utilized as protection mechanisms. Repotting and making changes is scary. Indeed, risks must be weighed before embarking on a life-changing mission. Sometimes you’re better off playing small for as long as possible than trying to be a hero, or else you’ll get hammered for sticking out. You might be plucked out for ‘being a threat’ and used as an example to other watchful plants nearby.
I’ve leant that repotting often comes with pain and discomfort as your situation first deteriorates before it gets better. That’s when most people give up or even yearn for the old environments. A lot of Christians are familiar with the story of the children of Israel as they journeyed towards the Promised Land. Finally, they were on their way to a better place, away from a ruthless ruler whose heart was as hard as stone. However, through their own fears and doubts, they started complaining as they yearned for the variety of foods they had back in Egypt, despite the fact that the Lord was providing for their specific needs at the time whilst aiding their transition.
Transitioning meant spending time in the wilderness. It's a period of uncertainty because you’ve never been where you’re trying to go. You might find yourself languishing in the strange fields and face up to all sorts of criticism and finger pointing. Maybe you’d outgrown the past environment but in the new one; you’re a nobody. You become vulnerable, weak as your roots are yet establish and find a footing in the new soil. Doubts and fear set in. If you’ve replanted with young ones or loved ones, they might even start to resent you. Suddenly, that relocation, the new business you started when you quit your old job or ending an abusive relationship often means paying a price.
You might find yourself in worse situation compared to when you were in an old, smaller pot. That’s OK, remember why you got out of that limiting place in the first place and try to keep your best foot forward. Only you know what’s best for you. Sadly, after a difficult past or string of failures, most people forget about who they truly are. Sometimes, it feels easier to let things be than do something about it. In moments like these, I’ve found that faith is enough to sustain and guide you during uncertain moments of transition. God makes a way when there’s no other.
You might have to endure difficult moments as you ‘compete’ for nutrients amongst weeds planted to steal your destiny. Those unrelenting issues that spring up from nowhere, as if you didn't have enough on your plate. In my experience, those weeds spring up just before a breakthrough. Do not lose heart and do not despair. Be still and know that when it’s harvest, the truth will prevail. The real wheat will be separated from the counterfeit. I believe that when you have faith in the Creator above, all life experiences (good and bad) will work in your favour as you get elevated to where you were meant to be.
There is a Shona saying (Zimbabwean language) called, “Kusi kufa ndekupi?” It’s a phrase traditionally coined by those fighting to get things right in the face of struggles and translates to, “Either way, we will suffer anyway.”Fight the good fight anyway! What would you rather do? Stay in a place that slowly kills your soul or face the wrath of challenges that come with moving on or moving up. Remember, it is never too late to go after your own dreams.
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