Leaders are like eagles, they don't flock you find them one at a time. It's a great thought. Admirable even, but what if you’re not an eagle? What if you're not a leader? What if the only heights you reach are merely a leafless branch on a gray, winter day? What if you discover that being solo makes you happy? What if 'alone and away' invites peace and centers your beliefs? In those few precious moments of isolation you feel freer than ever before?
At what point does real life become mundane and your dreams only rest on faraway branches? When do you give in and find yourself with the feathers that look like yours or in the marsh where you're supposed to live? Why do you make the same decision over and over to do everything that your peers expect rather than doing what your heart wants?
Do you shame yourself for not being a leader? Is something lacking in you because you're not a torchbearer? Are you self-conscious because others are taking charge of their life while you wait to see how life will turn out? Maybe your drive is a Sunday afternoon country road and not the unrestrained thrill of an expressway at midnight. Does that make you a lesser driver? No it doesn't.
But listening to your heart makes you a leader of YOUR life.
An egret choosing a solitary perch in a tree, different from similar birds, and away from the wetlands where an egret is “supposed” to be. Listening to it's own irrational heart and following the pull to light on a tree branch, high above the others and savoring new perspective.
How do you define yourself? A mother? A friend? An employee? Are we giving ourselves definitions or are other people making the decision? Are we conforming in neat packages so that everyone else knows how to categorize us? Do we make it easier for others and harder on ourselves?
Are we playing the roles that others expect of us? Are we going to regret the chances we didn't take? As we breathe our last are we going to be fulfilled - knowing that we gave our life away to please others? This is not a selfish thing, this is an honest review of what truly makes you happy. Are you living the life you chose, or are you working through each day hoping it will be your turn soon.
This is not to say that serving others is denying yourself. When you have been given a servant's heart, you're fulfilling your destiny and your calling is divine. You followed your giving heart and it's led you to a peaceful existence. But serving others because it's what others expect you to do is irrational. There's no fulfillment in that. Doing good is fulfilling. Doing good for the wrong reasons has lopsided benefits. Loving the deed and being content in the deed are vastly different ideas.
*It* can be anything that you are doing because you feel social obligation or pressure to please.
If your heart is not in *it* then you're doing *it* for the wrong reasons.
Wouldn't it be better for everyone if we followed our heart and we were happy? There would be less resentment and more appreciation. Fewer bitter feelings about doing what you feel obligated to do and more giving of what you love.
I won't ever regret being an egret.
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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. - Anonymous