A few weekends ago I was talking to my wife about the rash of sexual abuse stories that had come out in recent weeks. In a moment of weakness, I commented on how tired I was of hearing about sexual abuse in the media, in my town and in my family. I exclaimed that I hear about abuse every day and now, I am growing tired of it. My words sounded harsh, almost complaint-like, but it wasn’t. I was just tired of running.
As we talked about my feelings, it didn’t take long to figure out what I was tired of. It wasn’t the stories of courageous people coming forth with their secrets. It wasn’t the widespread media coverage of allegations against our world’s leaders. It wasn’t the revelations of abuse that my relatives have uncovered. I was tired of running away from my purpose.
We are often lost in finding our purpose; our why. Why are on this planet? What are we meant to do? We continue to deeply seek our purpose in self-help books, seminars, television programs, and attending counseling. There is a multi-billion dollar self-help industry solely dedicated to helping us find our greatness. Religions and social groups were formed to enable us to find our purpose en masse. Our anxieties peak when we realize that we may never find our real purpose and that we will run out of time before we really find it. People die without ever realizing their purpose. The ironic thing is, our world is continually presenting us with our purpose, we just never give it any thought. Our purpose in life is always right there in the front row, in our face, in our ears, and in our view.
The world is continually telling us what our purpose is, we just choose to reject it. Out of fear, we shy away from the things that will move us to greatness. Our greatest potential for impact in our lives and the lives of others is only one push away, but instead, we fall back because we are fearful of our greatness.
When I thought I was tired of being submerged in a world filled to the brim with sexual abuse, I was really tired of running from the fact that I have the power to do something about it. When my father gave me a box filled with emotional darkness, I didn’t realize that it was the greatest gift that I could have ever been given. Through his failure, I have found my strength. Through his coward, I found my courage. Through his weakness, I found my greatness.
I don’t believe we have the choice to choose our greatness, it chooses us. The only choice we have is to accept it or reject it. While I have spent many years trying to run away from my purpose, it is now more apparent to me than ever before that I must continue my mission to remove the elephant in the room when it comes to sexual abuse (or any abuse for that matter). I must continue to share my strength so that others can find theirs. I must continue to give a voice to those whose voice is still muted deep within their pain. I must continue to push, even when I may think that I am too tired to move.
My journey has only just begun.