Someone’s knocking at the door…
Somebody’s ringing the bell…
What are you being called to do?
What’s the cost when you stay stuck?
Dealing with Healing | Marika Hamilton
When I was 18.
It’s a pretty common topic… maybe it’s the most common topic… What’s our purpose?
I had a moment when I was 18. I remember being in my little red 1980 Honda Prelude (Aka Betsy. God I loved that car) and I remember the corner I was coming around. I remember being struck with a feeling or knowing that I was supposed to do something important, something special.
Amazing as that insight seemed, it almost made things more complicated and difficult for me. What was it that I was supposed to do? How was this going to unfold in my life? There were a lot more questions than answers.
Over time, getting married, having children and being intricately involved with a family business for many years I suppose I gave up on that enlightened concept that was presented to me when I was 18. I didn’t know what life was about, other than for me it was a lonely, loveless, dysfunctional struggle.
One thing I knew that I needed to change was my work. I had 15 years with my family’s business – and felt like I need to stay to make sure everyone else was alright. No one asked me to take on that responsibility – and foolishly, probably unconsciously I felt it was my first duty. Then I shifted a little and allowed myself to have my own dream. For several years I had played around with the dream of owning a restaurant. The more I pursued this, the closer it became a reality and I was shifting quickly. I did the bravest thing I had ever done, I told my mom and dad that I was leaving the company. I was terrified. Terrified of letting them down. Terrified of letting our customers down, our staff down. I was the unspoken person who was next in line to take over the company…. How could my parents retire if the only succession plan, me, left?
Not So Fast…
My impending announcement was tearing me up. After several false starts, I gave myself a firm deadline to get’er done. After another sleepless night…. the deadline arrived… and I set my resolve to have the conversation. Then before I even left the house I got a call, my mom was in the hospital with chest pains. I was crushed. Not only worried and scared for my mom, but feeling like I had missed my opportunity…. how could I possibly leave the company now… I was going to have to stay after all.
Later that morning, I spoke to my sister Martine, who also worked for the company. We discussed what was going on with mom, and I told her about what I had planned to tell mom and dad that day, and how I felt like I could not have that conversation now. Although, she was hearing about my plan to leave the company and open a restaurant for the first time, she was very supportive. (I’m sure the restaurant part was a big shock… because if I’m known for anything in my family… it’s being a terrible cook!)
I’ll never forget what she told me next.
She said Marika, “You need to do what’s right for you. There will never be a good time for you to have this conversation. Do what you had planned, talk to them anyway”.
She was right, choosing the right time to have a conversation like that – is a bit like trying to time the stock market. So with her support and encouragement. I did it. I went to the hospital and in my mom’s room… and had the heart wrenching conversation that I had been dreading.
It was hard, but I was so glad it was over. I felt like I had been living a double life for many months while I was dreaming on a different level about what I wanted to do.
Having my parent’s approval is important to me.
I knew they would be proud of me, but because of my involvement with our family company there were a lot of ways this could go sideways. I didn’t see or talk to my dad for what seemed like eternity, and I was very anxious about how our next encounter would be. I was so afraid that he would disown me, shun me, be disgusted with me. It was an awful feeling.
That eternal suffering was actually only about 6 hours long…. but that was a really long 6 hours. A bouquet of flowers were delivered to my office. I never imagined they could be from my dad. I curiously opened the note, and it read:
“Go For It Bunny, Love, Dad”
I burst into tears. My dad, my mom and sister gave me a great gift that day. They gave me the permission that I didn’t know that I had all along. Permission to live my life, as me, on my mission, fulfilling my journey what ever direction it takes.
So where are things now?
Well, after I left the company my parents decided to sell our family business. They are happily retired and in good health and spirits. I opened my restaurant which is still going strong today and have since then opened 3 more. My sister is still with the company and is the legacy and integrity of what our whole family brought to the industry we served.
But the day before the restaurant opened, I was in my car, this time a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica (aka Eggnog, don’t ask, I don’t remember)…. and had one of those moments again. I can remember exactly where I was when I was struck by the knowing that everything in my family’s life was going to change and would never be the same again… (more on that later)
I allowed myself to be stuck in a place for way too long. It ate at my soul, my confidence, my integrity. In private conversations I would describe what I was going through as a cancer that was eating away at me (ironically, I ultimately received a stage 3 cancer diagnosis, words have power, choose them wisely). Now all things happen for a reason, this I truly believe. Things unfolded for me exactly the way they were supposed to, the way they had to for me to be ready and learn the lessons I needed to make what was to me a terrifying leap of faith.
So pay attention to your dreams, those nudges, ideas.
There is gold there for you. Although I’m no longer involved in the restaurants, (my superhero husband handles that) my life purpose is still unfolding and I’m starting to understand that there isn’t one big thing that I’m destined for. That the important and special thing I’m here to do, isn’t a thing after all, but an opportunity that shows up differently everyday.
With that being said, I know you have a purpose. That Jumanji drum is calling you. You can ignore it, but it won’t go away. Sometimes that drum beats so loudly it causes some devastating circumstances to appear in your life. You can run, but you can’t hide. It’s like God saying…. “Hello….? (in Billy Crystal’s voice) We can do this the hard way, or do this the easy way….?” I had more hard ways to come…. guess I wasn’t done learning yet.
This was just my story…
I know a little about the impact of not following my dreams, fulfilling my mission, I understand the emotional, spiritual and physical toll this can take. Kathleen Gage works with people all over the country that have an important message for the world. She is a master of helping folks achieve massive visibility and exposure. I knew that she would have some great insight on the down side of not pursuing our dreams and calling. I hope you enjoy her message in the video above. Kathleen is a best selling author, speaker, podcast host and mentor and her guidance and stewardship of my message and dream have been incredible. For more information about Kathleen Gage visit her website: www.powerupforprofits.com
Here’s to our good health!