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Be a Seeker Not a Finder

I have a son that I would categorically say is the worst finder known to man. His inability to locate items was most notable during his high school years. What started as a “buddy can you bring me…” evolved into “I will get it myself!”, with explicit instructions in between that I dare say any stranger off the street could have found in two seconds flat. But my guy? No way, no how. At first, I thought it was a ploy to keep from having to help out. But I realized over time, that he simply did not want to visualize my directions, or the missing item as his head was filled with his own ideas, something that now serves him quite well.

Turns out, this notion of not being able to find things is a trait that many males have in common. There are many comedic bits about it usually involving a man’s inability to get things from the refrigerator. We all have been guilty of this; maybe not in the sense of a specific object, but I think it could be said that we are all capable of not seeing what is right in front of us in a given moment. It has little to do with not wanting to see something, and more to do with seeing what we expect to see. This a frequency issue and if we turn our dial a smidgin to the right or a tad to the left, we will tune into a vibe that is exactly what we need to move into our flow.

Notice I said need and not want. This is an important distinction to make because the universe has already provided everything we need, but what keeps us from seeing it is our expectations of how things should go. We never stop to consider that there might be a better plan already in place… if we know where to look.

This past year I discovered that teaching in a public school takes so much more energy than the time from the morning to the afternoon bell. I realized that I if I let it, my wanting to do the best job for my students would take every ounce of energy that I have. I missed having carefree time and a personal life. I am awestruck by the men and women that are able to strike a balance between those two worlds because I felt like I constantly fell short of that goal. Between having teenage heads on desks, their showing up with no paper or pencil, and a lack of participation, it was challenging for me to find the impetus to teach something that they did not feel motivated to learn. If it weren’t for the stipulation that they had to have two years of a foreign language in order to go to college, most of the seats in my classes would have been empty.  

To recover from the discrepancy between my expectations of how the year would go and the reality of the way that it went, Steve and I set off to adventure sans agenda in France. My goal was to enjoy some carefree time and finish up our trip in a language program where I could increase my vocabulary and practice my speaking skills.

One day my French teacher mentioned an upcoming quiz, and I immediately went into anxiety. I was enjoying myself in class and did not want spend my afternoon preparing for a quiz! I realized in that split second that I wanted to take my language skills out of a classroom and put them to use for myself. Before that moment, I had never considered the idea of growing my skillset simply for me to use as I traveled about this beautiful country, discovering new things about her and her. I started studying a foreign language at the age of 12, and now at 54, I realized that maybe my journey with French was no longer about teaching it in the ways that I have in the past. Maybe it was time to let go of my expectations of making this a career, and simply see what the universe was showing me through my fatigue and anxiety. Maybe, the apple did not fall so far from the tree. I realized that I was looking for something that was no longer there, and suddenly, I was okay with being a terrible finder.

I am now focusing my energy on being a good seeker. Instead of deciding what each experience has to mean, I am simply using each day as a tool of discovery. I am taking my cues from life. I am choosing to see what is right in front of me and no longer looking for something that is missing from my life or deciding what role it has to play in order for me to be successful. I have decided to follow all of the paths before me until one narrows to the point of bodily discomfort taking me down a trail that quickly disappears into the undergrowth. If I feel the need to machete my way forward with an anticipated outcome, then I hope I will recognize that I am forcing my ideas into a creation that is not yet ready to materialize. I will ask myself if I am moving with the energy of doubt instead of having faith in the timing of the universe.

Should I continue to venture forth with fear as my guide, I feel sure that my past experiences will reinforce a reality that will most likely drain me of my joy and render me powerless. If instead I choose to walk in the direction that excites me, and meander with curiosity down avenues that pique my interests, I trust I will stumble into an adventure. With this new understanding, I will be opening up to the wisdom of the universe and see that which until now, has been invisible to the naked eye, but unmistakably detectable by the open heart.

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