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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Moments of Clarity

We’ve all seen variants of this: Interviewer/host asks celebrity/guest, "When did you realize that you wanted to pursue/be [insert vocation]?"

Regardless of the specifics, I am invariably bowled over by the very notion that one could be so blessed as to realize one’s dreams. To know your heart’s desire and to achieve that desire seems like such a profound miracle.

I think we all have moments of clarity...startling revelations that simply come to us...our souls making their wishes known. And I would guess that for every blessed dream-achiever there are perhaps hundreds, if not thousands, of not-so-lucky souls who glimpsed their soul’s desire, but never achieved the dream. Achieving dreams requires a near-miraculous concatenation of genetics, mentors, courage, perspiration, kindred spirits, opportunity, timing, solar flares and falling stars. Achieving dreams is no mean feat.

I’ve had a few moments of clarity, although I never had one of the “vocational” variety. I never wanted to do one particular thing. I wanted to do/experience everything. My moments were more personal, my soul tugging on my sleeve to tell me something important, something essential.

After a bit of reflection, I recalled four specific moments of clarity. After a bit more reflection, I decided that my first moment (a revelation about gin) really didn’t count. I don’t think you can fairly describe any thought that comes to mind while hugging a toilet bowl as a “moment of clarity.” Let’s file that one under “learned wisdom.”

* * *

I was standing alone in the side entrance of the church, waiting for the ceremony to begin. As I stood there, I realized that I did not truly love my bride-to-be (it’s a long story). Yes, it was a moment of clarity; but I was too cowardly, too cowed by the moment, too stupid to speak what I knew to be the truth. The marriage disintegrated years later, grievously hurting both of us...and others. I have lived with deep regret ever since.

* * *

It was late afternoon on an early-winter day. The sky was streaked gray, and the wind was raw. I was driving on a county road through farm country, the stubbled fields shivering under a dusting of snow. A ring-necked pheasant exploded from the roadside cover and sailed across the road before me. It was all so bleak and so utterly beautiful. And then it came to me: “I am a child of the prairie.” Granted, my moment may not seem all that profound to any ocean/mountain/pacific-island-paradise types, but it meant a great deal to me. I somehow knew that my soul resonated to the rhythms of the open prairie. I find this soulscape beautiful.

* * *

I stepped outside to have a cigarette. It was a warm evening. I absent-mindedly lit the smoke and then felt as if I had been struck physically. This thought exploded in my head: “I’m in love with the most amazing woman I have ever met!” At first blush, that did not seem all that profound. Truth be told, I find any woman who claims to love a mutt like me rather amazing. This was different, though. This was both an objective and subjective truth. I truly had stumbled into the most amazing woman (based on an incredible array of criteria). The thought left me breathless. Can I truly be so blessed as to have a chance to love the most amazing woman I have ever met?

As I said, it takes a lot to transform desires into reality. Moments of clarity do not come with guarantees. Still, it is a good thing to hear your own soul and discover its verities. If nothing else, these moments of clarity serve as sacred cairns so that we may, someday, look back on our lives and see how close or how far we came from satisfying our souls’ desires.

* * *


Blogger Gina said...

I found your article very interesting. "Moment's of Clarity" are important things. I think Dr Phil calls them "life defining moments". I couldn't help but laugh about your gained wisdom about gin!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

I am always looking for ways to help me meet my goals, dreams, and desires.

Thank you for sharing information on setting and achieving goals. Last summer I attended a conference in LA for "Women In Technology"
(WITI). While there, I had the awesome opportunity to
meet Marcia Wieder.

She and I spoke about overcoming fears to achieve our dreams.
Although my time with her was brief, I learned from "America's Dream Coach" about
the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone, setting goals, and taking action. At that time I really did not know who this precious woman was but later learned she had been on Oprah and PBS-TV.

Marcia's brief touch on my life made a great impact on me. Recently I discovered her site at and the Maui Dream Retreat she is giving away!!! I would LOVE to be able to win that trip!!

I thought you and your readers might also be interested.

Thank you again for sharing. All the best to you and your new love!!

To more moments of clarity,


Tue Apr 25, 06:24:00 PM  

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