Close Your Eyes

If a man wishes to be sure of the road  he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark. St. John of the Cross

 I spent some time with a young woman yesterday who was anxious about her future. She will graduate from college soon and is trying to figure out which direction to cast her sail in. She knows what she is passionate about, but she worries that a job in this field would not give her the long term benefits which make her feel secure, in particular a paid retirement.

We spent some time comparing the benefits of structure and a known future, vs. the benefits of freedom with a more uncertain outcome. When our conversation came to and end, it seemed clear that her need for structure was winning the mental debate in her head.  As she shared her outlook with me, I gave her my full support- because ‘live and let live’ is an ethic I try hard to uphold. …but as I listened to her ‘keep safe’ reasoning, my own inner voice gave me a little smack down. (‘Oh, no you don’t the little she-devil on my shoulder said….)

Faith in an unknown future has always been such an intoxicating risk to me…. And one I have taken, over and over again in my life- particularly in my professional life. It has made my path uncertain, but it has given me so many gifts I would never trade. It is true there is no paid time off that is offered, nor will there be a pension waiting for me when I turn 65- but I have stretched my soul and found my place….. for me, there could be no greater benefit.

As John of the Cross so eloquently reminds, sometimes it is only by heading out into the darkness, that we can ever hope to find the light….

 If  a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.