On Finding Your ‘Thing’

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I’m a firm believer that we are all made unique for a reason. We are made to do our ‘thing’, as part of a community of others doing theirs.

It may take a lifetime to find that thing; or maybe we have different roles to play in different seasons of our lives. Maybe sometimes we are waiting, being prepared for what we may live later. Maybe all our gifts, all our weaknesses, all our experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – maybe all of it is a part of who we are made to be and what we can each hold out our hands and offer to a confused, sad, hoping world. Maybe it takes courage and vulnerability to offer the truest parts of us to others. Maybe it takes accepting our failings too. Maybe it takes a little grace, a submission to the fact that we won’t get it all right all the time. Maybe we need to make peace with the fact that others might not get it, might not get us. Maybe it takes trust – that all will work itself out. Maybe it takes support of one another.

Whatever it takes, isn’t it the most beautiful thing when you see someone doing their thing, bringing their own unique offering to a world in need? Isn’t it breath-taking when you see a community of people doing that? When people support one another, when competition falls away, when each person in their own eccentricity is empowered, loved, valued, upheld? Magical.

Every person I know has all this one-of-a-kind loveliness. My daughter is the queen of funny faces and making us laugh, and in her this is exquisitely combined with fierce determination and strength of character. As I watched her climb, swing and jump at gymnastics the other day, as she pulled herself higher and higher and bubbled over with enjoyment, I saw a glimpse of who she is becoming. She already has so much to bring to those around her. Meanwhile, our son is affectionate, friendly, talkative – a sweet host to anyone who comes to our house – and happiest when in the seat of a tractor or wading through mud in his wellies. He is sensitive and unassumingly brave. He sings perfectly in tune and laughs loud and hard.

And of course, there are so many others around me – around you – quietly becoming more themselves with each day. People whose gift is to listen. People who are amazing cooks. People who write or paint or tell jokes. People whose offering is pure, strong compassion.

Perhaps there are some people – maybe even reading this – who feel their light is flickering, or almost extinguished. Perhaps there are people who are hurting or anxious or ill or unemployed who wonder what it is that they have to offer the world. I feel, keenly, the pain of you who doubt your preciousness, who doubt you have much to offer, and I want to write this post particularly for you. We need you – even if you do nothing more than come to someone with your broken heart and ask for help. Even if all you do is choose to be in this world for another day.

Perhaps there are others who are exploring, seeking, trying out what it is that is your thing. Perhaps there are many of us doing the work of doing our thing in tough times when we are tired and discouraged. Perhaps there are others bravely making small decisions that become part of something big and good. Certainly, there are many, quietly shining away, without recognition but making a bigger impact than they know.

Whoever you are, I pray that today you will be encouraged that you are amazing, needed, inspiring and loved, the way you are. I pray that you have hope for your life. And I pray that you get the support you need to be to keep stepping into the truest, brightest version of yourself, the person you were made to be.

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