Show Up Before You Are Ready

21 10 2014

I love the blog – it just speaks to me on such a regular basis.

Today I was watching some of the author’s interviews for the OWN network, and I find her so inspiring – particularly with where I am currently at in my life.

She was asked to define the 5 qualities of strong and successful women, and she instead found herself defining the 5 habits of strong and successful women.  It is an important distinction – because habits are things we can all adopt, no matter our individual personality or circumstance.

The one habit she spoke about that just landed right where I LIVE these days, is this:  One of the habits of strong and successful women is their ability to show up BEFORE they are ready.  I define this habit in a lot of ways.  The literal way:  you don’t have to be perfectly dolled up and poised and coiffed to show up.  But that literal definition extends in a way that rings VERY TRUE TO ME in a lot of other areas of life.  Where I am currently at in my career, for instance.  I feel like I can be as prepared as possible, which is my nature for sure – to be prepared – to have done my homework.  But do I feel ready?  Usually not.  And the times when I feel “ready” I am invariably surprised by the way things unfold anyway.

I remember when my husband and I decided to start having kids – we knew there was no way to be ready…. and when our son was born, it became abundantly clear just how right we were – we COULD NOT be ready.  But we showed up.  And did our best.  And he is a wonderful kid today.  Loved, and peaceful, and confident.

But my desire to be READY for everything is still an aspect of my emotional nature that I fight with continually.  The desire to KNOW the outcome before the event.  To know how it will all turn out before I commit.

It caused me to write several family members and my ministers (past and present) to ask for extra support when working out of town last week.  I was worried I wasn’t ready for what is happening to me as an actress, and how what I am doing as an actress might negatively effect my family.  Which would seem a ridiculous thing to worry about – ostensibly, this is what I have been training for for…. ohhhhhhhhhhh 34 years?????  My Mom had the best thing to say in response to my anxiety – “When God works, He works like gangbusters.”  She is right – when things start moving – LOOK OUT – it is an ALMIGHTY response, and it can be terrifying – truly.

And that terrifying, gangbusters, bust-out work of God causes us, the frail human, to think, “Ooooo, I don’t know if I am ready for this.”  But that isn’t the point.  Being READY isn’t the point.  The point is to show up and do it.  Ready implies that you have more control in the actual unfolding of the event, but you don’t – all you can do is prepare and show up.

Before you are ready.

Because if you wait until you are ready, you may never go, and in the hesitation (even just the hesitation), you may miss the biggest blessing of your life.  And if it’s not a blessing, it’s the biggest lesson of your life.  Both are good.




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