February 27, 2012

Avoiding the Desperate, Unfulfilling Quest

Pursue what is in your heart and waste little time on the things you think you want or replacing what you may have lost.”

The other day I was listening to a performance of the song “Desperado.”  I have heard this song hundreds of times and it never hit me this way until this time.

Desperado is a song about someone who has lived their life on the fences watching opportunities passing by.  It warns of chasing dangerous dreams and wasting time on unfulfilling activities.   And, it speaks to the criticality of limited time in one’s life.

Whether this was a heightened awareness from my journey, divine inspiration, or a little of both – hearing this song touched my heart in an entirely new, unique and powerful way.

Many of us are living our lives at a crossroads.  We have experienced the joys of life, love, and success.  We have been bounced around by the storm of the past few years.  In many cases our sense of normal has taken a hit. Whatever the personal or professional challenge, there is a sense of urgency to re-discover the path we were on.  However, our tolerance for failure, our sense of adventure, and our confidence have all taken a hit.  It is as if we are now sitting on a fence, looking around, trying to figure it all out before we can safely engage again.

The queen of hearts is always your best bet.”   As you struggle to find your way, remember chase what is in your heart, not the things you think you want or replacing what you may have lost.  These are the “queen of diamonds, who will beat you when she’s able.”  Many of us have spent an entire lifetime playing or living a role to be something or accomplish something (diamonds) at the expense of being true to who we are (hearts).

Now that you find yourself at that place trying to decide what to do next, start by being who you are, not what you want to be.  One is true and authentic to what you have been blessed and gifted with; the other is merely a role that you have been playing in pursuit of something that you cannot have.  Follow your heart, follow your passion, and embrace that which fulfills, energizes, and inspires you.

Discovering your passion and reconnecting with the real you will not be easy. The process is a blend of courage and honesty: courage to discover and embrace the transition, honesty to make the assessment and authentically engage with the person you really are.

I have met with a lot of people who are stuck in life.  They are stuck because they are still attempting to re-create and replace what they believe they were; or, they are still building something that enables them to become who they want to be.  In either case, they unknowingly live on the fence as their life passes them by.

Rather than trying to become someone or play a role about being something special, we simply need to  be ourselves – to be who we are.  Anything else is wasted energy and is largely unfulfilling or likely impossible.

The best we can do for ourselves is discover what makes us happiest, the most fulfilled, inspiring, and passionate.  It is in that assessment and discovery that we realize who we are.  And, from there, we begin our quest to be the best “me” we can be.

Why don’t you come to your senses?

Come down from your fences, open the gate

It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you

You better let somebody love you…before it’s too late

The most important person to love, at this point, is you.  And, the person you need to love is not the person you have defined by your roles or your successes as an actor in your life.  Rather, the person you need to love is the one that makes you who you already are and always have been.

Rediscover those aspects in your being that make you happiest and most passionate and most inspiring – these are the gifts you have been blessed with.  Then, get off the fence and starting living your life in confidence and with love to who you are.  And, the rest will take care of itself!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.