DO NOT PUSH

My boss has been talking about selling her business, so I’m in the process of determining my next career move. I do not have a clear sense of direction and am fearful that I will not find something in time. I’ve been doing what I call excavation work–internal digging to determine what my insides are telling me to do–but I don’t feel like I’m uncovering any answers. Everything is muddy and uncertain. I’ve grown impatient and have been pushing myself to figure things out NOW.

One day when this feeling was quite intense, I was sitting at a red light and a big truck with the words Pluto Excavation Service pulled up alongside of me. The word “excavation” caught my attention and I became curious. When the light changed, the truck pulled ahead and on the back in big orange and blue letters were the words

DO NOT PUSH

I laughed out loud. Okay, I get it. My impatience and desperation are causing me to push for answers. These words were a message to relax; a lesson to trust the process and allow things to unfold.

Later that day, I remembered a quote from the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl:

“The fear is the mother of the event. In the same way that fear brings to pass what one is afraid of, likewise a forced intention makes impossible what one forcibly wishes.”

As much as I’d like to, I cannot force this process. I can take steps to move forward–do my best to research, gather information and act when needed–but I cannot push for results. I need be patient and accept that things will happen when the time is right. To remain open to the flow and trust that the answers will eventually arrive.

Around this same time, my friend Jess shared with me the Patient Trust prayer of Teilhard de Chardin. Quite fitting that these words arrived exactly when I needed to hear them.

 
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
 
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
 
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Beautiful and eloquent words to follow. Or more simply stated, DO NOT PUSH.

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