“This is a game of moving people forward one base at a time. It’s great that you want to hit homeruns Adam — that’s just not how life tends to work.”
A coach, leader and mentor of mine once shared this with me when he noticed how hard I was trying.
I got into transformational work because I wanted to create breakthroughs. Breakthroughs for myself and others. You know — the good shit. I want to have a big impact in the world. Not just in my own life, not just in my own city, but in the WORLD.
My need to hit homeruns, and then grand slams, and then to crush the metaphorical baseball so hard that it obliterated an orbiting satellite became something I was attached to. I was attached to creating these results because they would mean I was good at what I did, and they would allow me to outpace the heartbreak that goes with my desire.
Desire is a sibling to heartbreak. You may notice that if you let yourself feel the fullness of your own desire, it is often accompanied with heartbreak. Heartbreak for the fact that you haven’t yet created what you desire. Heartbreak for the fact that our desire is infinite in its capacity and scope, but finite in our own ability to manifest it. (There’s always more we can want for).
Rather than be with the devastation of wanting everything I wanted, both for myself and the people I worked with, if I could just MAKE. IT. HAPPEN. right now, then things would be good, and I would have value.
And instead, this man lovingly invited me to slow down, and be with people, and myself, exactly where we were. To release the need for something magic to happen, and instead, to trust that it would, in time. The most powerful way to support someone to create a breakthrough, begins by releasing my own attachment to that happening.
It’s not easy, releasing this attachment. Sometimes people get present to what is possible in their lives, and then choose what is safer anyhow. The well-worn, slightly-different-looking-but-ultimately-in-the-same-direction path is comfortable. The devil we know, dressed up just differently enough to hope things will go differently, while keeping us in the safety of the patterns we already know.
I watch people walk up to the top of the diving platform, this time certain they’re going to jump off, and then turning back around and climbing down, one more time.
“Next time… next time I’m really going to jump.”
And who am I to know they will or won’t? I don’t know what their process looks like. Maybe the path to their breakthrough requires climbing up on top of that diving board fifty times, and only then will they be willing to jump off.
Maybe their soul chose to make this life be about climbing the diving board and never jumping off. Maybe their journey is one where they talk about being a high-diver, only to continually choose the lower platforms and trying to create the thrill without the fear. Or maybe they really just need to climb back up one more time.
I can’t know these things — I can only stand by people as they discover their own path. I can help them see what is possible, and I can release my attachment to them choosing that possibility over their fear.
And I can let myself feel my own devastation and heartbreak when they choose something other than their highest possibility.
This is the path of love. And there can be no transformation without love.